A Place Prepared

“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

He was just a little fish.  What did he know?  Even if some inborn instinct told him that there should be something larger than this, his one-gallon fish bowl was the only world he’d ever experienced and he was content to live there.  He had no clue that I was preparing a better place for him.

I’d learned that betta fish deserve a better environment than a tiny fish bowl, so I was setting up a proper ten-gallon aquarium where he could enjoy life to the full.  He was going to have a heater and filter to keep his water fresh and pure.  Bliss, betta style.

This wouldn’t happen overnight.  An aquarium needs to go through a nitrogen cycle to develop the right kind of bacteria in the filter so it will purify the water passing through.  So the new aquarium sat on the counter for over a month as it went through this cycle; during this time I added driftwood and various ornaments that would make his new world so much more interesting.  Meanwhile my little betta swam in his little fish bowl, totally unsuspecting.

Then one day his new home was ready for him, so I carried his bowl and set it beside the tank.  I scooped him out with a soup ladle.  Now he was really confined; he squirmed and fought this new situation.  He was only a little fish; he couldn’t comprehend the big picture.

Though the transfer was uncomfortable and confusing for him, it was accomplished quickly.  I placed him in his new tank and his delight was obvious.  So much room.  So many interesting things to explore.  Constant warmth and pure water.  For a betta this was paradise!

Most of us are fairly happy in this world.  Some content, some not so content in our little lives, but it’s the only space we’ve ever known.  Like my little fish, we’re not very willing to leave it.  And we’re not at all enthused about being carried out in a small box!  Our comprehension of what waits on the other side is so limited.

Unlike my little fish, however, we can know God’s plans for us.  Jesus has revealed them to His followers; by faith we can believe His words.

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”  John 15: 2-3

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”  Psalm 23:6