Life Has Excitement – bask in it
I was so excited about the newest addition to the company I would have at home… I mean, I live alone, who wouldn’t be? “Fish would be great company”, I thought. Buying new fish for my very old fish tank was something I had envisioned, desired and planned out for months now! Finally, I made the step and excitedly bought four (4) pairs of varying fish and one ‘cleaner’ fish for my tank.
As I set the tank up with colored stones, fancy lights and other décor, I recall considering about the type of water I should now put into the tank. I thought: “I could easily use tap water since fish are very used to living in harsh, chlorinated, ‘salty’ waters anyways. Tap water should be very much manageable for them”.
The thought of using the purified water I had for drinking had crossed my mind but I didn’t dwell long enough on that idea at all. Tap water won! After filling the tank, I allowed them to swim around a bit, I conversed with and admired them a little then left them to enjoy their new space alone.
Life Has Woes – take note of them…
Returning an hour later, I realized that four (4) of the nine (9) fish were just floating around the tank; lifeless. Additionally, another two (2) were lying flat on my dining room floor…very much dead. Whilst I was terribly saddened to see this, I was still very grateful that of the nine (9) fish, I still had three (3) remaining; alive.
It was then that I took these live ones out and finally placed them in the “not so chlorinated” drinking water that I had. These three survived the rest of the night but sadly, died by the following morning. Bewildered, I thought: “What on earth did I miss here? Seriously, what exactly did I do wrong?”
When I decided to express my losses to my friends as well as the owners of the pet store, I finally realized two (2) critical things. Things I clearly missed altogether or just plainly took for granted:
1. Fish need adequate supply of oxygen to survive.
2. Fish cannot survive in tap water because chlorine, among other additives, poison their environment (I will delve deeper into this second lesson in next month’s feature of Christian Today.
Life Has Lessons - learn from them…
As I reflected on the scriptural lessons I extracted from this tragedy, my thoughts went to St. John 15 verses 5-6. Whilst Jesus used Figures of Speech quite often throughout this passage, the message He intended, may be easy for us to extract.
Just as my fish died because of a lack of connection to the vine for their survival (in this case, I had failed to give them an oxygen supply), we too will die spiritually, emotionally, financially and physically, if we fail to remain connected to the true Vine, Jesus.
Undoubtedly, if my fish had the appropriate conditions met for them, their lives would have been spared and they would have lived out the prescribed time and manner for their lives – they would not have died prematurely. Similarly, when our lives function outside of being connected to Christ Jesus (our appropriate spiritual environment) we will live lives not prescribed for us - and we will die prematurely.
Disconnection Brings Displeasure
By no means was it pleasurable for me to scoop all my dead fish together and cast them outside to be buried and forgotten. No, not at all, it was quite painful in fact! I had invested time, money and extra care into making them comfortable and at their best. Can you imagine that the Lord’s sentiments toward us is like a billion times this feeling or more?
Whenever we are disconnected from Him, whenever we die spiritually and physically with our purposes and mandates unexecuted, it brings Him much pain. The Lord made us wonderfully and He invested His best in us when we were created (See Psalm 139). He is never, ever, pleased to see us suffocated, withered, burned and thrown away.
Like fish need oxygen…we need Jesus, the Vine! Stay connected to the Vine and allow the Vine to stay connected with us. Without this connection, we cannot live, we will not bear fruit and will only be good for being cast away, buried and forgotten!
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned." (John 15, verses 5-6)
Connection Time – prayer time…
Our God and Saviour, please forgive us for operating without the adequate air supply we need in You! We pray that You will cement in our souls and spirit, the importance of staying connected to You. Father, we all want to yield good fruits. We all want to be productive as we live. May we be diligent about having You close to us and us being close to You, always. It is through Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN.
Melicha J. Smith originates and resides in Jamaica, West Indies. She has been involved in youth ministries for over 13 years and has served in the capacities of teacher, mentor, intercessor and missionary. Professionally she functions as a Registered Pharmacist.
Melicha enjoys and invests most of her time in writing, reading and listening to music. She loves a good game of football even though she understands VERY LITTLE about the game.
Melicha Smith is an author, speaker and founder of Reflective Hands Ministry.
Follow her on Instagram: @reflectivehandsja