February 1, 2004
According to a story I recently read by Jim Thomson, some scientists decided to genetically engineer a fish that could live outside water. So, selecting some healthy red herring, they bred and crossbred, hormoned and spliced, and did all the genetic manipulations needed until they produced a fish that could exist outside of water.
But, the project director wasn’t satisfied. He suspected that though the fish had learned to live on dry land, it still had a secret desire for water.
“Re-educate it,” he said. “Change its very desires.”
So again they went to work, this time retraining even the strongest reflexes. The result? A fish that would rather die than get wet. Even humidity filled this new fish with dread.
The director, proud of his triumph, took the fish on tour. Quite accidentally, according to official reports, it happened - the fish fell into a lake. It sank to the bottom, eyes and gills clamped shut, afraid to move, lest it become wetter. And of course it dared not breathe; every instinct said no. Yet breathe it must.
So the fish drew a tentative gill-full. Its eyes bulged. It breathed again and flicked a fin. It breathed a third time and wriggled with delight. Then it darted away. The fish had discovered water.
With that same wonder, we who have been conditioned by the world that that rejects God, we discover Him.
The Apostle Paul, speaking to the citizens of Athens, made this statement: “In Him (Jesus) we live and move and exist…” (Acts 17:28a)
There was driver of a wagon, being pulled by a burro, slowly making his way into town for the market. As he traveled he overtook an old man carrying a heavy load. Taking compassion on him, the driver invited the old man to ride in the wagon. Gratefully the old man accepted and climbed into the back of the wagon.
After a few minutes, the driver turned to see how the man was doing. To his surprise, he found him still straining under the heavy weight, for he had not taken the burden off his shoulders.
Jesus speaks to all of us as He gives His invitation, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
What burden do you carry? For some that burden is the weight of personal sin and guilt. For some that is past wrongs committed against you. For others, we look at the circumstances around us and our hearts are weighed down with despair or chained with anger. Years of burdens we carry along with us. Jesus says, “Lay them down. Give them to me. I will give you rest.”
Perhaps you’re a fish trying to live on dry land and need to know life in Jesus Christ. You need to trust Him as your Savior and lay down the burden of trying live alone and apart from God’s grace and forgiveness. Invite Him into your life today.
One last thought. Once you lay you burden down resist the temptation to pick it up again.