Fish Tales


 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Heb 14:15-16 (NKJ) 

We had a guest speaker from out of town and the pastor preferred that on these types of Sundays all of the children stay in the adult service in order to prevent any child care workers from missing out on experiencing the special speaker.  Following that request, a promise was made that at the end of the service there would be a drawing from all of the children’s names for a special prize for sitting, listening and behaving well during the service.

The service ended and the drawing was held.  The “winner” held his breath in anticipation as the pastor pulled the mysterious prize out of hiding.  I couldn’t help but grin at the polar opposite expressions which erupted simultaneously from both the child and his mother when they each realized at the exact same time what the prize was.  Within the clear plastic bag held up by our pastor, a singular school bus orange goldfish swam around completely indifferent to the excitement and dread which he had now generated in the room.  My pastor and the little boy were smiling, but my friend, the mom of the little boy? She had an expression on her face which was more indicative of “what in the world were you thinking Pastor?”

At that point the deed was done.  It was now my friends’ problem to contend with.  Even though she never wanted that goldfish, and ended up with it through no fault of her own, it was now her issue to deal with.  On the way home they had to make a stop for a fishbowl, fish food and all the other necessary items.  When the fish died two weeks later, the responsibility lay upon her shoulders to contend with the broken heart of a six year old and the final funeral flush.

Is there anything in your own life which resembles this goldfish?  There has been in mine.

As a matter of fact through no fault of my own I could have filled a fish tank with the unwanted goldfish of life that were handed to me.  A few of my goldfish would be named fear, mistrust, and insecurity. They were handed to me swimming around in their own tightly twisted bags of abuse, rejection and abandonment.

Like my friend I had a choice to make.  We all do.  It didn’t matter why she had it, or where she got it.    Once she had the fish, it was hers to contend with.  She did what she needed to do to take care of it.

Is there an issue presently swimming around in your life which needs to be taken care of?  What I found was that, once I realized I had the fish, sitting around and whining about why I had them, that I never wanted them and how unfair it was that it was now my responsibility to take care of them was just a waste of time.  Once they were mine, they were mine to contend with and I was the only one who could do what I needed to do to deal with them.

If we do not take the initiative to deal with the unwanted goldfish within our lives they begin to smell and have the ability to negatively impact and affect all who surround us.

 Father, help me to be obedient to deal with the consequences of sin within my life. Regardless of where it came from help me to not waste time in worthless self pity.

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