“For the death he (Christ) died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”- 1 Corinthians 15:21-22
“Your real, new self . . . will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come only when you are looking for Him.”- C. S. Lewis
When I was in grade school, one of my dad’s coworkers at Nalco Chemical Company gave me a small aquarium and a starter supply of adult guppies. I soon learned a sure sign that a female is close to giving birth is the darkening of the gravid spot, the area that holds the guppy eggs. Because the babies actually are born live, I would remove a pregnant female and place her in a clear, plastic container having a slotted, v-shaped piece in the middle. Upon birth, the fry dropped through the narrow slot, protected from their hungry mother. One time a baby was very lethargic following birth, laying still at the container bottom. I reasoned its only chance of survival was to swim for its life with the adult fish. It rose to the occasion, choosing risk over (dis)comfort.
Like baby guppies thrust into a frenetic aquarium world, hiding in plants and sneaking out for food when the coast is clear, we feel small and insignificant following our vocation loss. Fear surrounds us. That fear, John Ortberg observes, makes us “live as though we serve a limited, finite, partially present, semi-competent God.” Yet, while former colleagues and church family may be indifferent to our anguish, Jesus is not. As we run into His arms, our darkness is turned to dawn.
Max Lucado states that we, like the disciples, are surprised when Jesus comes to us in our storms, asserting that Peter wouldn’t have taken that unprecedented journey on a calm sea:
“We expect him to come in the form of peaceful hymns or Easter Sundays or quiet retreats. We expect to find Jesus in morning devotionals . . . and meditation. We never expect to see him in a . . . pink slip . . . But it is in storms that he does his finest work, for it is in storms that he has our keenest attention.”
We become alive to Christ!