And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10
It’s reported that codfish are a big commercial enterprise in the Northeastern United States. However, the industry battled to transport the fish to the markets. When they froze the cod, they discovered the freezing took away much of the flavour. When they shipped the fish alive in great tanks of seawater they found the cod still lost their flavour, and, in addition, became soft and mushy. The problem was finally solved when some innovative person placed the codfish into the tank of seawater along with their natural enemy – the catfish. From the time the codfish left the East Coast until it arrived at its westernmost destination the catfish chased the codfish all around the tank. And, you guessed it, when the cod arrived at the market, they were as fresh as when they were first caught. There was no loss of flavour and no loss of texture, if anything they were better than before.
In a similar sense, each one of us is in a “tank” of particular and inescapable circumstances. It’s painful staying in the tank. We don’t like the fact that God has allowed certain “catfish” into the tank because they bring tension into our lives. But let’s remember, the catfish are there to keep us alive, alert, and growing. The catfish of adversity are shaping our character, causing us to “swim” closer to Jesus. Then, as this happens we gain a greater flavour and a superior texture, becoming better than we were before, so that when the marketplace of the world encounters us they taste and see that the Lord is good.
So don’t ask God to remove the catfish in your life. Keep “swimming” for Him. For “after you have suffered a little while … the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ … will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen” 1 Peter 5:10-11.