How’s Your Fish Bowl?


Children love fairs and carnivals.  The atmosphere is ecstatic.  It draws their attention and draws them in like flies.  The game area was always an area to be avoided with my mom, she viewed them as scams, hard to win.  I always wanted to play.  So when my daughter at age five wanted to toss the coin and win the little goldfish I let her play.  A few coins later she had her goldfish.   We set it up in her bedroom on the dresser.  I cautioned her to be careful and not knock it over.  She was so proud of her fish.  She finally calmed down and I turned off the light for the night.

I always awoke way before everyone and  peaked in early to check on my daughter.  There on the dresser sat the bowl and the goldfish was belly up and floating.  Arrghh, now I had to deal with a dead fish?  What would I tell her?  I hurriedly dressed and ran down to the 24 hour WalMart, bought a fish and returned fast enough to replace before she awoke.  “Whew, escaped that one I thought”, patting myself on the back.   Off to school she went.  That night we went through the same bedtime routine and finally she told the fish goodnight and we settled in for the night.  Next morning, as usual I stuck my head in and THERE WAS THE GOLDFISH, BELLY UP AND FLOATING.  “Oh, no, really?”  Once again, being the coward I was then, I hurriedly rush to WalMart and returned with yet another goldfish.  Whew.  Got by again.  This was crazy.  The fish was okay all day.  Looked like things were going to be okay.  Off to bed.  mac28_deadgoldfish01_wideEarly the next morning I hear this loud cry, “MY GOLDFISH!”.  I jumped out of bed, dazed that someone awoke before me.  Running across the hall into her room there stood my daughter in front of the bowl, staring at the goldfish belly up and floating.  I hugged my little girl and tried to comfort her.  What I had dreaded I finally had to face.  After all the shielding I had tried, I still had to face the inevitable. I tried to explain how everything dies.  But, for a small child death is always hard to understand.  With tears streaming down her face she looked up to me with the saddest confused eyes and said, “mommy I don’t understand why he had to die.  I loved him so much.  Every night I took him out and told him so as I petted him.”

We laugh about it now.  But, isn’t that the way we all are?  We put our life in a glass bowl and we love it with tender loving care.  We want it all perfect and comfortable. We pet it and even sometimes smother it … causing what we love the most to die.  There are those around us that will even try to fix all our problems like I tried with my daughter.

Life, it has ups and downs; good times and bad times.  God wants to teach us, sometimes in the good times and other times in the bad.  Everything is a lesson that will make us more like Him. When you become a Christian you change.

2 Corinthians 5:1(NLT) 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

To change you have to learn about Him.  You have to go through things in life to grow physically and you must go through things to change spiritually.  Do not avoid these times, do not try to “pad and protect” yourself from the lessons.  Do not whine and ask “why?”, ask “why am I here in this place Lord, what do you want me to learn?”

Psalm 25:4-5(HCSB) Make Your ways known to me, Lord; teach me Your paths.Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation;I wait for You all day long.”

Psalm 86:11(ESV)11 Teach me Your way, O Lord,that I may walk in Your truth;unite my heart to fear Your name.”

Proverbs 3:5-6(NASB)5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Instead of avoiding look to Him and say, “here am I Lord, teach me.”