Monday, October 25, 2010

Fish frenzy

There are three fish tanks in the house. Two are reef tanks. One's doing well. The other constantly battles for chemistry balance and against algae. The simplest is a little freshwater tank, sitting beside me as I write. 

After raising four children, fish are relatively maintenance free. Every two days, I swish a cube of brine shrimp or other frozen food through the saltwater. Nearly every day, I pull back the tab on the fish flake jar to sprinkle a meal into the freshwater tank. Besides water changes and occasional glass cleaning, fishkeeping is pure enjoyment. 

Though I care for them each day, the fish don't know me. They have no idea that I am a student, a wife, a mother, a friend, a writer. Actually they could care less. They feed in a frenzy in their safe environment. They swim unaware of dangers of a broken glass or being out of water. I take care of the threats so they can live in peace.

Some of us are like my fish, living in a bubble of blissful ignorance. When life is easy, it's all about us and our comforts. We have little interest in the Creator and Sustainer who protects and guards life. We scarcely notice others who move and breath and suffer around us. We just want our share of food and resources, playing around without a care. 

When food runs short or disease threatens, we swim in panicked circles. When a big fish is added to the tank, we become cautious. We are fearful when we get sick. When our kids rebel. When life brings difficulties. Strangely, many of us blame God for our misery, though we have scarcely thanked him for plenteous provisions. Still wrapped in ourselves, we flail about as though he were unaware of us and our needs.

Let's take time today to "count our many blessings, naming them one by one." Then, "it will surprise us what the Lord has done." And how carefully he watches over us, whether we are grateful for or oblivious to his tender love. 

Read more:
*Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. I have suffered much; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your word. Accept, O LORD, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws.

Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law. The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts. Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.  Psalm 119:105-112 NIV

*In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. John 14:2-3 NIV 

*Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor's] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12 (Amplified Bible)

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