Hebrews 12:1b-2a – Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. (NIV)
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV)
Last Thanksgiving weekend, my daughter and I joined the many others who were intently watching the salmon making their way up the Sauble River to their spawning ground. As we watched them swimming upstream against the current, I thought of some lessons that we, as Christians, could learn from them.
Each fall, adult sockeye salmon return to their natal stream, river, or lake, to spawn and bury their eggs. Salmon have the determination and perseverance to keep on going until they reach their final destination — their spawning ground. Their journey is upstream against the strong current, which pushes them back many times. Sometimes they get caught. We saw a fisherman catch and reel in a salmon, but then he released it. My daughter pointed out a sign for the "catch and release" law, allowing fishermen to catch the salmon, but then requiring them to release them again.
Our Christian walk is like that of the salmon. We are battling against the evils of this dark world — often going against the crowd. Many times, we, too, come against strong opposition, but we who believe in Jesus, when we die, will inherit eternal life. We, too, at times, get caught by Satan, and, although Satan doesn't release us, Jesus does. He is always with us, showing us how to be free from our sin. Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that we could win the victory over sin and death.
God has a plan for our lives, just as He has a plan for the salmon. Let us persevere, then, as the salmon do, year after year, and run the race marked out for us. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus until, at the end of our journey, we have reached our final destination — heaven.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You that You have prepared a place for us, and that You have a plan for each of our lives! Keep us from growing weary and discouraged. Help us, through our times of trouble and temptation, to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, as we run the race that You have marked out for us, knowing that even death cannot separate us from You, and that, at the end of our journey, we will inherit eternal life, and live with You forever. Amen.