I can sometimes get overwhelmed with hearing stories and reports about how people are struggling through life with difficult circumstances. Many of you are suffering through marriage, financial, health, or a myriad of other crisis circumstances and difficulties. Life hits us square in the face sometimes and the only thing we can do is trust God and rely on His strength and power to get us through. I would like to share with you a story I came across recently as we think about how we all live in a “tank of inescapable circumstances.”
In the Northeastern United States, codfish are a big commercial business. (Story via Chuck Swindoll)
There is a market for eastern cod all over, especially in the sections farthest removed from the northeastern coastline. But the public demand posed a problem to the shippers. At first they froze the cod, then shipped them elsewhere, but the freeze took away much of the flavor. So they experimented with shipping them alive, in tanks of seawater, but that proved even worse. Not only was it more expensive, the cod still lost its flavor, and, in addition, became soft and mushy. The texture was seriously affected.
Finally, some creative shipper solved the problem in a most innovative manner. The codfish were placed in the tank of water along with their natural enemy – the catfish. From the time the cod left the East Coast until it arrived at its westernmost destination, those ornery catfish chased the cod all over the tank. And, you guessed it – when the cod arrived at the market, they were as fresh as when they were first caught. There was no loss of flavor nor was the texture affected. If anything, it was better than before.
Each one of us is in a tank of particular inescapable circumstances. It is painful enough to stay in the tank. But in addition, there are God-appointed ‘catfish’ to bring sufficient tension to keep us alive, flavored, alert, fresh, and growing. It’s all a part of God’s project to shape our character so we will be more like His Son. Understand why the catfish are in your salt-water tank. Understand they are part of God’s method of producing character in your life, and mine. Let’s not lose the flavor or the salt.
Important Things at CATGrove to be aware of:
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT THIS SUNDAY!
Another big announcement this Sunday you don’t want to miss!
Our students are gathering for 2 more Wednesdays at UNITED. Tonight is at Monroe High School with the CATGrove band leading. Next week the summer finale will take place at Walnut Grove High School and I will be speaking. I hope to see your middle school and high school students these next 2 Wednesdays at 7pm.
Be praying for our Social Circle Launch this coming January! Is God leading you to be a part of that launch team? Please send me an email, call me or speak to me on Sunday if you are interested.
Because we can’t do it without you and to show appreciation for all that you have done and continue to do, we offer our 2nd annual Volunteer Appreciation night!
Sunday night August 28 at Lenora Park @ 6:30 we will gather for a night of fun at the water park. It will be for the entire family of those that serve in any capacity at Church at the Grove! Please begin to RSVP to our office by phone or email to let us know you plan to attend.
Group Link is August 7! Save the date that night so you can connect with one of our Group Link homes and connect relationally with some other people in the Church at the Grove family!
I hope you are having an awesome summer! Please continue to pray that God will use Church at the Grove to impact this community and the world! Make it a priority to be at our Sunday gatherings and bring a friend or family-member with you.
Consider where you will connect in a Community Group this fall. Remember that circles are better than rows when it comes to building relationships in the Body of Believers.
Continue to invest in conversations and relationships with people in your neighborhood, family, and circle of relationships. These are the best and natural places to invest in people and share the hope that is only found in Jesus Christ.
Keep praying, Keep investing, and Keep inviting!