Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A Fish Story

As a mother of small children, I’ve learned that each day can bring new discoveries, unexpected surprises, and sometimes- if I am paying attention- a special glimpse into the nature of God.

One evening as I was working in the kitchen, a loud “BOOM” reverberated throughout the house. “Better go see about that one,” I thought. The older kids and I hurried around the corner, where we stared in shock at the scene before us. My two-year-old had attempted to climb up his chest of drawers and managed to pull the entire thing over. Nathanael was fine, but the chest now lay on its side and the fish aquarium, which had been on top, lay empty on the carpet. Blue gravel and fishy water were quickly sinking into my pretty pale beige carpet. My first thought was, “My carpet!!” but then I realized: the fish is missing.

“FIND THE FISH!” I yelled to the kids. We began frantically digging through gravel, searching through toys… and then I saw him. When the aquarium went down, the momentum flung the fish across the room, where he hit the wall and now lay motionless beside the baseboard. We were too late. Becca picked him up. “Mom, he’s alive!” she exclaimed. We rushed to the kitchen and put him in a cup of water, where he quickly recovered.

Later, as I was cleaning up the mess, it occurred to me how my own life sometimes feels like that fish’s. Often through my own sin or carelessness- and occasionally, through no fault of my own- my “aquarium” gets dumped over. In the past, my view of God was one in which he sees the chaos, sees me gasping for breath and scolds, “Will you just look at this mess you’ve made now!” But the Bible portrays a very different God, a God whose one overriding concern is, “Save this child!” As I turn to Him, He rescues me and soothes, “I’ll take care of you. We’ll clean up that mess later.” King David must have felt that same divine comfort as he sang these verses:

“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.” Psalm 103:2-4

I wrote this a couple of years ago for our church bulletin. Thought you might enjoy it too, before it fell into computer oblivion!


Ryan and Lesli said...

I really enjoyed. Thanks for sharing.


summer said...

that is my favorite real person analogy of the heart of god. i have actually shared it many times, giving you credit of couse. what made that story so impacting is your open heart to see god in everyday life. things happen like that all the time but rarely do we stop and look at what god could be saying through it. thanks for your insights into the heart of god.