Deb Koster wrote this on the passing of Steven's brother, Tim Koster, 21 September 2016, at age 54.
Our God surely loves fishermen.
Beginning in Genesis, when God created fish, he sent people out saying, “let them have dominion over the fish of the sea.” Psalm 8 tells us that God has given us dominion over the works of his hands including “the fish of the sea and whatever passes along the paths of the seas.” God intended that we would be out looking after his fish.
God is a Fisherman
We know that God is a true fisherman because, in the book of Job, when God reminded Job who was better at this fishing thing. God said to Job, ““Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook or press down his tongue with a cord?” For we know that fishermen are all about making comparisons, and God always has the better fish story. But here God truly has the advantage as he can calm the weather when the lake gets rough. He can even go without the boat and just walk on the water if the lake isn’t cooperative. God is not shy about flaunting his fishing prowess.
God can even be a bit of a show off when it comes to fishing, as we can see when he enlisted a great fish to swallow Jonah. Jonah 2:10 tells us that God is the best fisherman because when he talks to the fish they actually obey, for when “the Lord spoke to the fish, it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.” Getting fish to follow your instructions is a very helpful fishing skill indeed.
God Loves Fishing
We know that God loves fishermen because he knows how to find all of the best fishing spots. Jesus instructed the disciples in John 21 to “cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” “So they cast it, and then they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish.” Jesus could be a really helpful fishing buddy.
We know that God loves fisherman because Jesus couldn’t get enough of time out on the water. He recognized that if you just stayed out a little longer and modified your technique, the fish might come. In Luke 5, Simon answered Jesus saying, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats.” As any good fisherman knows, if you are just patient long enough and use just the right technique, you will find the big catch.
We know that God loves fishermen because Jesus knew the value of a good fish dinner. In Matthew 15 he used a few fish and a prayer to feed the multitudes that were gathered to hear him. He knew that a little fish and bread could go a long way among friends. Later on, when Jesus appeared to the disciples for the third time after he was raised from the dead, he did so over fish. He chose to chat with his dearest friends over a breakfast of broiled fish. John 21 tells us that, Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so also with the fish. As true fishermen know, some fish shared among friends makes for a special communion feast.
We know that God loves fishermen because Jesus knew the value of getting away from the crowds in a boat. Matthew 4 tells us that, “when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.” Even Jesus struggled with the busyness of life interfering with a quiet day of reflection on the boat.
In fact, Jesus enjoyed the boat so much he even figured out a way to preach from the boat. Luke 5 says, “Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.” Serving the congregation without getting out of the boat is a really good gig if you can get it.
God Loves Fishermen
God surely loves fishermen. He invited the stubborn, hot-tempered fishermen of his day to hang out with him and learn from him. Fishermen were the faithful companions with whom Jesus chose to spend his earthly ministry. Matthew 4 tells us that, “While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”. You see God too knows the value of a good fishing buddy.
Our God surely loves fisherman because he not only gave his life for them, he also made fishing the model for his ministry here on earth. He told his disciples that they were going to be fishers of men drawing his people back to their God. You see, God recognized that fishing was good training for all of life. Sitting patiently and waiting on God’s provision helps us to develop our muscles of trust in God.
Our God loves his fisherman, Tim Koster. He invited Tim, like he did his first disciples, to be a partner in his ministry here on earth. Tim has followed the heart of God and served him through all manner of choppy waters. Tim was himself a stubborn and strong-willed fisherman with a wry sense of humor much like the fishermen of Jesus’ day. God trained him up to fish for men, and Tim has faithfully served that calling. As God says, “Well done my good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your master,” we know without a doubt that God loves his precious fishermen.