Although water was flowing through the aqueduct this week, the water level seemed lower than usual. As I walked around the lake, my attention was drawn not to the mountains or sky or birds, but to the water itself. At the edge, the water was very clear. I noticed many tiny fish, only a couple of inches long, clustering in the shallow areas. They darted back and forth, but never left the shallow rim.
A few feet out from the edge, I could easily see larger, longer fish. They were orange, and a good eight to twelve inches. They didn’t move around as much and seemed to keep their distance from the smaller fish. These I had seen before. Their color and size usually made them easy to spot. They are what I think of as the average fish in the lake.
Then I caught a glimpse of something else. Something was moving, gliding slowly through the water: something deeper, where the water was cloudy. First I thought it was just a shadow or piece of wood. But intrigued by something new and unique, I took the time to stop and get a closer look.
Something was definitely moving in that darker, deeper water. The movement was slow and graceful. When it was joined by a second shadow, I realized that these too, were fish! Their shape gradually became discernable in the murky water. They were huge! They must have been three or four feet long. And so graceful. I had never seen these here before. Living in the deeper water, they had grown enormous.
This can be true of Christians as well. New Christians often have lots of energy and enthusiasm. They revel in telling others of their newfound life, happy to be in the Living Water.
People who have been Christians for a longer time may be easily recognizable, by their attitudes and actions but may have less spiritual zest and energy. Their presence is apparent in the world, but may be seen as somewhat average: not bothering anyone, but not really blessing them much either. Unfortunately, they are sometimes perceived as apathetic and possibly hypocritical.
Then, we notice mature Christians: the big fish. They have grown by the experiences of going deep into God’s Word and God’s will – so graceful and at peace that they attract attention just by being what they are! Their passing through the water causes deep waves and new currents though they call no attention to themselves. They don’t have to be ‘showy’ because they have a quiet confidence and trust in their faith. Their living testimony speaks loudly of what God can do.
Of course, this doesn’t hold true for all believers. But I have known some mature Christians who are just like these big fish.
And I believe in fish, as in Christian life; the deeper you go – the bigger you grow!