Alaska sought to satisfy demand from other countries by shipping frozen codfish to China, but found that freezing destroyed much of its famous flavour.
After discussions, they transported the cod live, in tanks of seawater, but this proved even worse. The cod not only lost its flavour, but also lost its flakiness, becoming soft and ‘mushy’.
Finally a creative person solved the problem. The cod were placed in the seawater tank with their natural enemy, the catfish. Throughout the whole voyage the catfish chased the codfish all over the tank. You guessed it: when the fish arrived at market they were as fresh as newly caught, with no loss of flavour or texture. In fact many people believed it was improved.
CHUCK SWINDOLL coined the phrase “GOD APPOINTED CATFISH” to describe a type of conflict encountered amongst God’s people.
Like codfish in a catfish world, we sometimes find ourselves in a tank of seemingly inescapable circumstances (catfish). These may seem like an enemy, but their real role in the life of a Christian, is to deepen and develop us in faith and action. “Catfish” chase us in order for us to stay fresh, alert, firm, and tasty to a spiritually hungry world.
It is painful to stay in the tank with the “catfish” but although it might be difficult to see the benefit at the time, with hindsight we can look back with thankfulness for the challenge. I know it has been true in my own life. When I have been “in the tank with catfish’ and faced them, depending on God’s promised empowerment and enabling, I have grown in faith, strength and character.
President JFK often spoke about the Chinese word for “CRISIS” saying that when it is written in Chinese characters, it is composed of two characters, one representing DANGER and the other OPPORTUNITY. The same illustration has been used by many motivation speakers.
When we long for life without difficulties,
we should remember that oaks grow strong in contrary winds;
diamonds are made under pressure ;
and codfish are kept fresh, alert, firm and tasty by being chased by catfish.
He knows the way I take, and when He has tried me,
I shall come forth as gold.
1 Peter 1:7
That the trial of your faith,
being much more precious than of gold that perishes,
though it be tried with fire,
might be found unto praise and honour and glory
at the appearing of Jesus Christ.