Worth Thinking About...

God and Goldfish

A while back we had an underwater medical emergency at our house. One of my Son, Brandon's Goldfish was discovered to be in extreme physical stress. Upon closer examination the Goldfish had somehow tried to swallow a piece of gravel from the bottom of the tank. The small stone was lodged tightly in the fish's throat and if it was not removed it would certainly kill the fish due to starvation if nothing else. What is one to do? You can't call 911, and you can't take a 97 goldfish to the Vet. We took the poor creature from his little aquarium and place in a small bowl of water. We could then easily lift him out of the water an place him back after a brief time. Knowing that the hymlech maneuver is successful with humans, in using a abdominal thrust to force air from the lungs upward to clear the air passage above we tried doing this on the fish. It was only after several failed attempts did it dawn on me that fish don't have lungs! I will spare you the details of a couple more unsuccessful procedures. By this time the goldfish was look pretty far gone. Then we did what we should have done to start with, we prayed (I Thess. 5:17). After interceding for both the fish and the surgeon, my wife Julie began trying to extract the embedded gravel with a pair of tweezers while holding the slippery, suffering goldfish in her hands. We all held our breath...and at what seemed like the last moment before the goldfish would expire either from tweezers or from drowning in air, the gravel came out. The goldfish was plopped back in the bowl of water and a cheer went up from all five Waggoners.

What may seem to you as a cute story or a minor coincidence to all of us was great lesson on the power of prayer. Now you may be thinking the great spiritual lessons are only taught from the Pulpit or a solemn moments of mediation. God, however instructed us to both learn and teach His truth through the normal activities and experiences of life. "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). As we have begun 1997 let me remind you that this year contains 365 days, or 8,760 hours, or 525,600 minutes, or 31,536,000 seconds, depending on how you choose to measure it. By the time you read this some have already passed so get busy! We should strive to use as many of them as possible to learn of Him and to teach His truth to others. We can do this by constantly asking the Lord to teach us through all of our experiences. We should continue to ask ourselves, what lesson is in this? We should be in the Word of God daily so He can speak to us and we should always be alert to the opportunities to share our life with the Lord with those around us.

As for the goldfish, he quickly recovered from his ordeal and lived out a normal goldfish lifespan. But for months afterward whenever we would see the little gold fish swimming in his tank we would be reminded of the lessons learned from the God that made him and us.

Jesse Waggoner
Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church

©1997 Calvary Baptist Church

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