Over the years the goldfish stories keep adding up. One fish story really stood out in my mind. Hoping this fish story will help you look at your faith differently.
We have this fish, we got as a white elephant gift. We have a pet free house so our kids had to resort to getting a fish for free. It came with a little bowl and its food. We put it in a large salad serving bowl. Yes, those fancy bowls can be useful.
I noticed we have a busy, busy fish. We called it our ADHD fish because it swims around and around and splashes and does all kind of crazy things in its large bowl.
My dad, with dementia, came up to the bowl one day and said, “That is a wild fish.” One day I was stirring the bowl to add more oxygen and as I took the spoon out, the fish jumped out of the bowl with the spoon.
The fish has to be fed a few times a week and the water bowl needs to be changed at least every 7-10 days. When changing the water, you need to dump some water from the fishbowl into a smaller bowl, and add the fish.
The fish goes crazy. You can feel and see the fish’s craziness of being trapped in the small bowl for 5-10 minutes. After the fish endures this time period, the fish is plucked out of the bowl and put in the large clean salad bowl with distilled, room temperature water.
The water is clear and you can practically see the joy on the fish’s face as the fish races around the bowl in excitement and pleasure.
This cycles again every 10 days. 10 days where the water gets cloudier and cloudier. I wonder if the fish even notices it? Maybe it thinks, come on people, I need new water! Maybe the fish does not even care or realize what’s happening.
One day I ran past the fish bowl and saw the clean water. It occurred to me, this is what people’s lives can be like. They live life in the sameness. The same schedule, problems, and lifestyle. People may not even realize that their life is getting cloudier and cloudier as the days, weeks and years go
Sin or a lack of focus on God is creeping in. They have not even realized that they need to clean out their
Then one day they are plucked from their job, their health goes bad, their kids are in rebellion, their marriage is on the “slimy” rocks or they are depressed. Something happens and they are forced into the problem and faced with it head on. They were put like the fish into the small bowl.
Psalm 40:2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
So how do people react facing the problem in the small bowl? They can go crazy and try to get out of the problem or call out to God our “caretaker” and say, God, you are in control and you are the one who knows what is best.
Help me see I need you, forgive me and change me, help solve my problems and focus on you. God, I want you to be the “water filter” and “caretaker” of my life.
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
After the process of cleaning, is over and God sees we are ready, just like the fish, our bowl of water is now clean and fresh. We are picked up from the small bowl and moved into clean water with a larger bowl. We are ready to live life again.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!
This time, we know that we need God to filter and clean us
Psalm 48:9 Oh God, we meditate on your unfailing love and we worship in your temple.
The Rest of the Story
Our fish named Alfredo who had ADHD was found one day lying on the floor by the heat vent. I am pretty sure it jumped out of the bowl and landed on the floor while we were at church. This fish lasted for 3 weeks and we didn’t kill it. Too much freedom to jump out of the big salad bowl. Alfredo was flushed. Pet free house again.
We have had many fish since Alfredo and they were all named by the kids. We had two of them that lived for 6 months and then slowly decided they had enough. My daughter for an art project drew fish heaven and hid the names of the fish in the clouds. Our memorial to the fish we tried to raise.
One time our parents wanted to borrow a water container for a party. The bottom part was the stand. To make it fun, they decided they would buy two goldfish for the clear bottom and put rocks and water in it. People at the party had fun getting their water with fish swimming around.
When the Party was over. We got our drink container back and yes, you guessed it, two goldfish. These are the ones who lived with us for 6 months, at the bottom of the drink container/ stand. Minus the drink dispenser.
What are some ways your life is getting cloudier? Is your faith story like the fish story? Comment below.
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