February 26, 2012 1:54 pm

Catfish Character!


In the northeastern United States codfish are a big commercial 
business. Note the following facts: There is a market for eastern 
cod all over, especially in sections farthest removed from the 
northeast 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 person 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 and inescapable 
circumstances. It is painful enough to stay in the tank. But in 
addition to our situation, there are God-appointed "catfish" to 
bring sufficient tension that keeps us alive, alert, fresh and 

It's all part of God's project to shape our character so we will be 
more like his Son. Understand why the catfish are in your tank. 
Understand they are part of God's method of producing character in 
your life and mine.

Charles Swindoll

  • --James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale 
House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 14.
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