ARE YOU “IN THE TANK”? – are you a codfish in a catfish world?

The Atlantic codfish is famous for its taste, texture and nutrition values.  Codfish are highly desirable, but they are difficult to get to market.

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.

Job 20:10
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.


About meetingintheclouds

I am Cloudwatcher, a 76 year old Christian lady, happily married to a wonderful man for over 50 years. We have five wonderful sons, all with at least one University degree and in top positions in their chosen fields. One son is still single but four have found perfect wives and they have given us five lovely grandchildren. I was born in England and while I'm proud of my English heritage, I am doubly proud to be a true-blue, fair-dinkum Aussie. My husband and I are committed Christians whose first priority is to love and serve our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. My life story will tell of my journey from abuse to peace. I suffered 22 years of abuse, being constantly told I was totally evil and an ugly freak: no one would ever want me, so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.
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6 Responses to ARE YOU “IN THE TANK”? – are you a codfish in a catfish world?

  1. granbee says:

    Totally wonderful and empowering post about ““Catfish” chase us in order for us to stay fresh, alert, firm, and tasty to a spiritually hungry world.” The irritants in an oyster make a beautiful pearl, don’t they? I was very glad to be reminded of the JFK quote here about theChinese characters spelling CRISES are letters: one for danger and one for opportunity. As athletes know, “No pain, no gain.”

    • When I look back on past problems and trials I am able to thank God for them because it is very plain to see that these were times of a spurt in spiritual growth. Coal under pressure becomes a diamond, and our aim is to shine like a diamond into the world of darkness.

  2. Rob Barkman says:

    It is a sad commentary that, due to our sinful flesh, we all need the difficult times to bring us closer to our Lord. How wonderful it would be if, during times of consistent blessings, we would continue to look to Him and serve Him from thankful hearts. But too often, as the blessings come, we become self-confident, proud and no longer seek His face.

    Just as you say, lets thank and appreciate our gracious Lord for the times of trial in our lives… this is another way we can praise Him with our lives.

    Thank you for posting another important issue that needed our attention!

    • His praise should continually occupy our mouths – or at least our thoughts. He blesses us in so many ways throughout our days and each one deserves, at the very least, a “Thank You, Lord”.

      What an amazing God!

  3. ptl2010 says:

    Precious thoughts meetingintheclouds. Thank you.
    Praise the Lord He understands our need – whether to expand our opportunities or to challenge our faith for growth, He is there. May this thought bless someone who is a codfish today, being chased by a catfish

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