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You have accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord. Now keep on following him. Colossians 2:6(CEV)

About the only thing I remember from my high school psychology class is an experiment run with a fish in a large aquarium. I don’t remember why it was run, but the results have stuck with me for a lifetime.

Sociologists put a large fish in a glass aquarium. The fish was allowed to swim freely about this large tank, but its food was always put in the same spot on one end of the tank. The instincts of the fish taught it that it could get food at a certain time, in a certain spot every day.

The next step in the experiment was to put a clear glass pane at the halfway point of the tank with the fish on one end and the food on the other. The fish would try to get to the food, but the glass pane prevented it from doing so. Food was placed in its normal spot but the fish couldn’t get to it. It became violent. It slammed its head against the glass in effort to get to the food but to no avail. Finally, it gave up. It simply stayed on its end of the tank. When the glass pane was removed and its freedom was returned the fish simply stayed on its end.

There are many lessons that can be taken from that experiment, but one that I think of often is how it pertains to those of us who have chosen to follow Christ. At the very beginning of our journey, we enjoy the euphoria of knowing our sins are forgiven; of realizing that someday we will spend eternity with Christ; of being reunited with loved ones on the other side.

Then adversity slips in. It can slip in under the guise of old habits. It sneaks into relationships that either intentionally or otherwise tries to pull us from our walk. It creeps in unaware through apathy. It saps our energy through expectations we put on ourselves or others put on us.

Adversity leads to failure and with failure comes a desire to try again but the glass pain of adversity thwarts us until we quit trying out of fatigue, frustration or fear. We find our little corner is comforting and we grow complacent. We know that someday we’ll be delivered. Until then we are content to stay where we are, unaware that we are growing weaker and less able to withstand the rigors of life.

It’s time to remember that when Jesus died on the cross for you, he didn’t do so in order that you can remain stagnant. Having Christ in your life isn’t a ‘get out of hell free card’. Adversity will come. Hard times will attack. There will be times in your life when you just want to quit trying. Don’t do it. True spiritual growth and strength comes when we determine within ourselves to keep up the good fight. Stumbling and falling is inevitable, but failure isn’t an option for the true Christ-follower. And the best part of all? When you fall (not if, when) Jesus is there to pick you up.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, there are so many times when I’ve let the glass pane of adversity and struggle keep me from the fresh food of your word. Empower me with your Spirit to overcome the adversity that keeps me from fulfillment in you. Amen.

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