It’s true for all of us.
There are days that try our patience, diminish our self-worth and make us feel useless. They leave us wondering why we are even occupying space on this planet. Life’s stress activates our self-pity receptors, kicking them into overdrive with disastrous emotional results.
That’s precisely the situation where I need to remind myself how much God loves me. It sounds like a trite answer to a very complex issue, but I always feel better when I reorient myself back in the direction of God’s love.
Recently, I had a profound reminder of the depth of God’s love while visiting the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. There wasn’t one fish that I looked at and said, “God had a sense of humor when he created that guy.” Not one fish, hundreds, maybe thousands. Even above the water, there were plenty of laughs watching the antics of the seal lions and the penguins. I reveled in learning some fish tales of the deep.
For example, did you know that male California Sheephead fish are quite territorial? Each protects a harem of females. However, if the male dies, the dominant female changes into a male.
Or that a shark’s liver is 25% of its body weight? Maybe that’s why they can eat almost everything.
Do you know that there is a shark that prefers walking to swimming? Epaulette sharks “walk” by wriggling their bodies and pushing with their paired fins. Since they swim in shallow waters off Australia, if they get caught in a tide pool, they can survive without oxygen for several hours.
At the aquarium, there were millions of facts like the three I shared and that’s where I found God’s love…in the sheer variety of fish. Genesis 1:20-21, states “And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”
God saw it was good that the ocean is teeming with living creatures. He could have created one species and called it a day. But He didn’t. He created many species for His pleasure and “saw that it was good.”
The variety, color, shape and habits of the fish delight God, but they also show how important we are to Him. He cared enough about us and our earth to give the whales a song, dolphins a vocabulary, fish protection against the most poisonous sea anemone and playful sea otters to grace our harbors.
None of this was an accident. When I take the time to praise God for this gift to us, the worries of the day seem trite in comparison. For the God that can create a fish that camouflages itself as a piece of coral, surely can handle my stress. When thanking and praising Him for his creativity, my problems retreat much as a wave returns to the sea.