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Stop wallowing in the shallows

Tiffany and my boys went to feed the giant koi carp fish in the large pond at the bottom of the garden.

Suddenly Tiffany’s voice interrupted my thoughts, ‘Simon, come quick, there’s a fish in trouble!’ I got up and rushed to the end of the garden and there, stranded in the mud, in a few inches of water, was a massive orange, black and silver carp, gasping for breath, fighting for life. Why it had swum into the shallow end I don’t know; perhaps it had followed some tasty morsel, or perhaps this was a favourite spot in the cool of the day. Whatever the reason, the heatwave and the low water table resulted in drying up the pond to half its usual depth and this noble fish, beached in the shallows, was dying. Trying to wriggle back towards deeper water, this fish only embedded itself in the mud, it was stuck, gills part submerged, for a slow death.

Tiffany and my boys stood appalled at this pathetic sight. I told the boys to quickly bring a dustbin lid and a watering can both of which we had used and were by the gite back door. They ran off and quickly returned with them. Joel poured water on the fish offering it momentary relief, and I stepped into the muddy pond, gently put both my hands under the huge but listless fish, and lifted it onto the dustbin lid. Joel constantly watering it, I carried it on the lid to the deeper end of the pond, where I lowered it back into the water. On the bank, Tiffany and the boys held their breath. The fish lay in the water momentarily motionless, and then suddenly it lunged to life and with a swipe of its tail and a swaggering flash of orange, black and grey, it turned and swam for the deep end. I climbed out, a hero, my family cheering.

Immediately as we headed back to the cottage, the Lord spoke to me.

“The church is like that carp: mature, distinguished, and impressive. But she has left the deep waters. And she is stuck in the mud and slowly suffocating. Momentary relief from the odd Spiritual, watering can of a renewal conference cannot save her. Her only hope is to get back to deep water.”

This was the revelation the Lord had told me in the morning he was going to give me. The church is out of the deep and in the shallows – the river has become a pond and the pond a puddle. And she is straining to breathe, fighting for life.

Simon Ponsonby

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From the book "Amazed by Jesus"

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