When we bought my 5-year-old (then 3-year-old) her first (and last) pet, a beta fish, we asked the Pet Supermarket guy how long they live.
He said, “If you want him to live forever, he’ll be dead tomorrow. If you don’t care, he’ll live until she’s in college.”
I’m decidedly in the “don’t care” category.
When we came home from a trip last week, I’d never been so disappointed to walk into the girls’ bedroom, because I found the fish was still alive. I think he was smiling.
I don’t like how this makes me sound any more than you do, but it’s true. I wish death on that fish every time I remember he exists.
I’m not “for” that fish.
He’s not great. He’s a hassle. He doesn’t act like he loves me and his bowl is never clean. Every day, I think to myself, I really need to clean that bowl today. And I almost always don’t.
God could definitely see me a lot like I see my daughter’s beta fish. I’m not that great. On my own, there’s no compelling reason to take care of me.
But my Father is most definitely for me.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
God is for me. He always has been and He always will be. The best thing for my girls and my husband and my heart is for me to be consumed by that thought. God is fully for me.
I was trying to come up with a birthday post for a friend the other day. The kind where you post photos on Instagram and write a pre-death eulogy type of tribute.
So, I was trying to be creative, but this friend of mine had me stumped. The adjectives I kept thinking of to describe her were ones found in Galatians 5:22-23.
Not very creative. But, those are pretty good ones. Those traits mark my friend, Jana, because my friend Jana lives like she knows God is for her. Because of that, she looks an awful lot like Him.
I pray, not to be like Jana (though she is a great role model), but to be like Jesus. When I am LOVED by Jesus, love for my family spills out in obvious ways. When Jesus gives me joy, my girls are generally giggling instead of screaming (okay, maybe also screaming, but giggling more). When I’m experiencing the peace that God’s sovereignty brings, I can help my girls feel safe and my husband be at peace. When I remember God’s kindness to me, I am looking for ways to model that for the people in my life.
Even though I’m not exactly “for” Pickle the beta fish, my daughter is. And I’m for her. Because she’s mine. Just like God’s for me, because I’m His.
So, I guess I’ll keep feeding the fish…and I guess I’d better change his water for the fourth time ever.
I may not be the best fish owner, but I hope to keep focusing on the fact that God is for me. His for-ness is transformative. Hopefully, I can keep growing as God “transforms me into His image with ever increasing glory…”