Just Call Me Coho

Every fall, the Coho and Chinook salmon travel up the Grand River to spawn. And, every fall, my dad and his best friend Charlie would make the long trek to the Sixth Street Dam in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, to join the throng of anglers, each trying catch of few of these salmon.

Thinking back, I feel a little sorry for the fish. Some made it to the fish ladders and safely beyond the dam to their destination upriver. But, for those who didn’t… as the old saying goes, it was like shooting fish in a barrel. Or, rather, hooking them.

All these poor salmon were doing were trying to fulfill their mission in life: the annual migration they were designed to make. Yet here, halfway into their momentous yearly trip, was a huge barrier. And a bunch of fishermen awaiting them, eager to take advantage of their plight. How frustrating it must have been to be one of the salmon that just couldn’t find its way to the ladders.

There are days when we feel like one of those salmon. We’re just trying to do what we feel God has called us to do, trying to get to our destination, trying to find the ladder.

Sometimes we hit a barrier.

Sometimes our attention is turned by the shiny jig and hook.

Sometimes we get reeled in and filleted.

If this is you today, take heart. You aren’t swimming upstream alone. You have a whole school of fish travelling with you. Most importantly, we have God with us. Remember, Jesus promised: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29, ESV).

Can’t find the ladder to safety ahd deliverance? You just might be looking in the wrong direction. Look to Jesus and swim easier.

Hope Jesus is a Movie Buff

I am a movie buff.  I’ll sit on the edge of my seat, cheering for the good guy and glad to see the bad guy get what he deserves.

Then, reading my Bible later, it occurs to me: Jesus would be rooting for the bad guy.  Not for what the villain does, but for the human being.  God does not want to see sin win.  He wants to see man freed from sin.

Let’s be totally upfront here.  There are times when I am the villain.  One thoughtless word or selfish deed, and I become the bad guy.  I am so very thankful that Jesus isn’t watching, waiting for me to get my come-uppance. 

Wouldn’t it be great to watch a movie and see the bad guy get saved, repent and turn from his evil ways (as opposed to going down violently in a hail of gunfire)?  Imagine the money the studios would save on fake ammo, pyrotechnics and red-dyed corn syrup.

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV)