Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Symbol Of The Fish

And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Matthew 4:19

The wind from the north stirs up the dust on the open road. The man pulls a piece of material from his robe. He wraps it around his eyes until the dust storm settles. Living in the remotest parts of the Roman Empire comes at a price. All the comforts he experienced as a Roman citizen, he has forsaken for this dusty trail. Home is just a distant memory since he started his journey. All he had ever known was gone, his family, his wealth, his prestige, his job, all of it. He forsaken it all. Upon becoming a Christian, he told his family of his conversion. They in turn scoffed at him.
"Do you really want to give up everything you've worked for? Why follow the teachings of a dead Jew? Are there not enough gods for you to worship with the Roman gods?"
With tears in his eyes he tried to make them understand.
"The gods are not gods but demons. They enjoy in our suffering. They take delight in keeping us in darkness. I have met One who has removed the blinders from my eyes. Oh, how I wish I could make you see."
Their response was bringing him to the attention of the Roman magistrate. The soldiers were coming for him, so with a heavy heart he fled.
Not sure where he was going, he left all behind.
As the dust settled, he sat down on a big stone beside the road. The weight on his mind seemed to weigh ever heavier. Looking into his food sack, he sighed a deep sigh. "Not much in here," he thought to himself. With his stomach gurgling, he checked his skins for something to drink. "Not much in here, either." Washing down the remaining piece of bread with some water, he prayed.
"The One True God, hear my plea for Your direction. I have left everything behind for Your name's sake. I wait for You to guide to where I am to go. Jesus, who first served me, let me now be a servant for You. I am emptied of all that I was. Now, I wait for You. Amen."
Leaned against the rock he began to draw with the end of his walking stick. He doodled pictures of the scenes of everything around him. The birds, flowers, the clouds in the sky, finally he felt compelled to doodle a fish. Remembering the story of the fish and loaves and how Jesus performed a miracle from this small thing. He began sketching this on the ground. He had only gotten half the fish sketched, when a tall figure overshadowed him. Glancing up from the ground, he strained in the bright noonday sun to see this person. Before he could speak the figure in front of him started finishing up his sketch. This individual sketched the last half of the fish onto the ground. In amazement, a hand was extended to him from this person. Rising to his feet, he looked into the face of this one who stood before him.
"Be glad, my brother, you are among believers. I had a dream sent from God that told me you would be here. A voice came to my dreams that instructed me. I asked how would I recognize you. The voice said that you would be drawing a fish and I was to finish the fish. This was to show that we were of like mind, always dwelling on Him."
They embraced, for the traveler had found a place where he belonged.
"Come, for we are spreading His word through out the city. The people here are very receptive to the Good News."
"Where I just left, they are not. I pleaded with my own family to try to understand. Instead they forsook me," the traveler explained.
"Our Lord was done the same way. Take comfort in knowing that he understands our suffering. Remember you are not alone. He is with us. And we, your brothers and sisters in Christ, have a purpose. We must go to the darkness and shine the light of Him, forcing the dark one to relinquish control of them."
So they sat and communed with each other. Discussing many things, encouraging each other. The traveler felt his light that had almost gone out reigniting.
"Thank you. I now know what I must do. I cannot run from the dark one. I must be on the offensive against him. His light must return to my city. What right have I to take away the only light they may ever see? I must go," came the traveler's words.
Embracing the fellow believer, he wiped away the tears from his eyes,"You won't stay for awhile and meet the others."
"No, I must hurry. Thanks to you, I too have a purpose given by our Lord," the traveler exclaimed with joy.
"I have some food and drink to take with you on your journey. May the grace of Lord Jesus be with you. So long, my brother. If we never meet again here, I will see You with King Jesus on His return."
And so the traveler returns home. No longer does he just carry a small light for others to see, but now he carries a torch.
Lance Gargus

"God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life, that I may burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life, but a full one, like You, Lord Jesus."
Author:Jim Elliot
"The most important of life's battles is the one we fight daily in the silent chambers of the soul."