Fish Out of Water

We recently enjoyed a tropical vacation in the Dominican Republic.  The sky was blue, the water was turquoise and the sand was white.  It was beautiful.

On one of our days spent at the beach, a small white fish with blue spots washed up on shore.  It was rather a surprise to us.  One minute we are alone on the beach with the waves crashing at our feet.  When the next wave left the shore, it also left behind this fish.  As we approached the fish to get a closer look, it began to struggle.  We attempted to help it, to no avail.  Every time we bent to redirect the fish toward the water, it would flip and flop so quickly it escaped our assistance.  This poor little fish was stuck on this sandy beach with only the wind in its gills.  Not a good place for a fish.

The waves kept coming in but none reached high enough to save the struggling fish.  We thought this fish was a goner.  And then it happened.  A wave, higher than all the rest crashed onto shore and reached that spotted fish.  As quickly as the fish appeared on shore, it righted itself and zipped back into the sea.  Certainly with a huge sigh of relief and a look of shock on his little fishy face.

Sometimes I'm like that fish.  Swimming happily through the water when a wave takes me and unceremoniously dumps me on shore.  I can't breathe and I struggle to figure out what just happened.  It could be a challenging parenting moment that I wonder if all those years spent guiding and mentoring were for naught.  It might be a phone call carrying the news that my father died.  Maybe it was the time my husband came home in the middle of the day to inform me he was let go from his job.  A fish out of water and stuck on shore.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6, ESV)

When I'm in the moment, flipping and flopping on that shore with the sun beating down on me and the wind drying me out, I sometimes forget that it is all meant for a good purpose.  That the One who created me also allowed this moment to refine me and make me stronger.  If I would only stop my exertions that are making me gasp for air.  If I would only rest in Him and know that there will be another wave big enough to take me back out to sea.

 “Be still, and know that I am God..." (Psalm 46:10)

And when that wave comes to shore and reaches me, I'll zip back into the sea with a huge sigh of relief and a smile on my face because I made it!  I am refined and stronger.  The next wave that catches me will have to be bigger than the last one because I've learned that being a fish out of water is just another day at the beach.

 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)


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Thanks for taking the time to comment. I always enjoy hearing from you. ~Kim