I was getting divorced, not even a year after I’d married, and I felt destroyed. So I went away a while to the ocean to rest and pray and try to get my life back together.
As I was sitting day after day at the water’s edge, crying out to the Lord, the anguish washing over me again and again, I thought my heart might just stop. But then, one afternoon, as I looked out over the bay, I caught sight of a fish leaping out of the water—and he kept on leaping, his shiny body wriggling and flopping as he propelled himself higher and further with each breach.
I was struck with an old memory: watching Ethel Merman singing, “I gotta be meeee!” in that classic abrasive bray that was her singing voice. Suddenly I was laughing uncontrollably. It poured out of me, a rushing river. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d laughed, but how wonderful it felt in that moment with my Ethel Merman fish.
When Isaiah declares, “[T]heir tongues are parched with thirst. . . [But] I will turn the desert into a marshland and the dry ground into springs of water” (Isaiah 41:17-18), I know precisely what that feels like.
I thought I would never laugh again, never love life again, but God reached down into my spiritual drought and gave me a fish, a leaping, ridiculous, “I gotta be me” singing fish. I knew without a single doubt that “the hand of the LORD [had] done this,” that “the Holy One of Israel [had] created it,” (41:20) just for me, to remind me that though there was grieving to do, He would not abandon me nor forget me.
He would turn my wasteland into something lush and green, where the rivers would laugh with life. Divorce or no, the LORD would never lose grasp of my hand and heart.
Sister, He has hold of you, too. Can you feel it? You may be suffering or grieving or lonely, but, trust me, the Holy One of Israel is ready to reveal His wildly creative healing touch to you—even in a leaping fish.He would not abandon me nor forget me. // Liz Kelly Click To Tweet