Fishbowl Faith

goldfishPhoto attribution: Souravgg8 [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D

Well… so much for my presidential aspirations.  It appears I’ve been shut out at the Iowa causus.

Again.

And, really, I’m okay with it.  It’s better to be a goldfish in one’s own aquarium than a clown fish in a cesspool.

It can be disappointing to set a goal and go for it, only to miss the mark and “fail”.  However, when we’re following Jesus and setting our sights on Him, we’re not going to truly fail.  Sure, maybe we don’t get the job or promotion.  Maybe we don’t quite hit the mark we set for ourselves (or had set for us).

Maybe we don’t feel like we are where we ought to be in life.

Relax.  Here’s some good news:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28 [ESV]

Wherever we are in life, we are not alone.  God is always with us, working for our good.  And – here’s the tough part – we have to trust that God knows what’s best for us.

Even when His best for us isn’t what we think is best for us.

Especially when His best for us isn’t what we think is best for us.

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. – Romans 8:29-30 [ESV]

You see, what’s important to God is what needs to be important to us.  And, frankly, the Lord is not impressed by our job titles.  Or our bank account balances.  Or our station in life.

What is important is that we are salt and light to world around us, wherever the Lord has us.

13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:13-16 [ESV]

It isn’t where we are in life that is important.  It’s what we do where we are, with what we’ve been given by God, that matters.  It is how we love the people who cross our paths.  Understand that we are not nearly in control as we like to think.

Looking back on my life, I can see times when God pulled me to safety as I stubbornly stood on the tracks with a speeding, runaway train barreling toward me. It would have been certain disaster had things gone my way.  If I had to guess, you can probably relate.

God can – and will – bless us where we are.  He equips us to fulfill His plan for our lives.  He meets us where we are.  So there’s no need to worry about failure, or any aspect of our lives.  

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? – Romans 8:31-32 [ESV] 

Follow God with enthusiasm.  Love God and others with purpose.   Trust God with abandon.  Live like the Lord God, Creator and Sustainer of all, is with you always.  Because He is.

As for politics, I’m grateful I’m not called to be a goldfish in a carnival game, stuck in a small bowl with lids throwing ping pong balls at me.  I am thankful for the aquarium God has placed me in.

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