Created with beauty and self-defense | Lifestyles
I have always loved tropical fish. I worked in a mall all through high school and during my break I would walk around the pet store and look at the aquariums. All the brightly colored fish and their habitats captivated me. I never had an aquarium growing up, just a gold fishbowl very often. I would name my swimmer friend and enjoy his company until the end of his usually short life.
When Larry and I got engaged, he asked me what I wanted for a wedding present. I immediately replied, “a large aquarium.” Not pearls, an exotic trip or a new wardrobe but I wanted an aquarium! The 29 gallon aquarium has become the centerpiece of our humble duplex. It has become not only my gift, but “our” hobby. We spent many hours feeding our aquatic creatures and learning about the marine life.
Aquariums have followed us to every city, state, and home we have lived in. Currently I have a 65 gallon tank full of African cichlids, clown groupers, red tailed shark, and plecostomus. Boiling water, lively and active fish and a community of hungry critters greet me every morning. I love to watch and discover the creative genius of God and tropical fish. On ministry trips to the Caribbean, I have watched beautiful saltwater hot topics, with design, color, and character beyond imagination.
When my kids were little we loved going to the beach, taking a walk in the shallow, clear and calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. We danced as the baby fish walked over and nibbled on our toes. The contact and interaction with these baby fish made this mother and her two sons howl with joy. These baby fish lived in God’s aquarium, the largest ever.
I recently read about a fish called “Moses Sole” that lives all over the world in the Red Sea. He has an unusual way of defending himself against larger predators like sharks. I will probably never see a “sole of Moses,” but I have learned a valuable spiritual lesson from my study.
According to Wikipedia, “Pardachirus marmoratus, also known as finless sole, speckled sole, or Red Sea Moses sole, is a small fish in the Red Sea that secretes an ichthyotoxic milky substance at the base of its dorsal and cloacal fins. This secretion contains pardaxine, a lipophilic peptide which causes severe rupture of the plasma membrane resulting in cell leakage. The secretion containing pardaxine is used as a defensive mechanism against predators, especially sharks. Pardaxine is irritating to predatory fish, particularly affecting sensitive gills. Dr Eugenie Clark carried out much of the early work on Pardachirus marmoratus.
Adult finless soles are bilaterally symmetrical and as they mature their left eye migrates to the right side of the head. The strongly compressed body is convex on the eye side and flat on the blind side. The rounded caudal fin is not attached to either the dorsal fin or the cloacal fin. It is variable in color, often whitish, pale brown to pale gray with a scattering of irregular dark brown ring-shaped markings and numerous dark brown spots on the head, body and fins. along the lateral line there are normally two brown dots containing yellow spots.
In a New York Times article, the following description explains the effect of Moses Sole on an attacking shark. “The most powerful repellant found to date is that of the sole of Moses (Pardachirus marmoratus). It is stored in glands along the dorsal and anal fins. Its dramatic effect was described by Dr. Eugenie Clark of the University of Maryland, widely known for his work on shark behavior. The shark presses on such a fish with its wide jaws, she said, until the fish is inside its mouth, after which the shark suddenly stops, without closing its jaws, and withdraws ”. The shark can then be observed, she continued, “shaking her head from side to side; rushing around the tank, hitting the sides; hold your mouth open for several seconds to more than three minutes; curling on the bottom of the tank, stomach up. ”
Folklore says that Moses’ sole became divided and flat on one side during the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea, when the children of Israel were being pursued by the Egyptians. Although there is no proof of this, we can learn a valuable lesson from the sole of Moses. When the enemy is threatening and we are on the verge of annihilation, God has equipped us with a means to stop our enemy. Releasing the Holy Spirit against the sharks in our life makes them powerless. It may seem like we are surrounded, but the power of the Holy Spirit always makes a way out.
I Corinthians 10:13 AMP: “No temptation (whatever its source) has overtaken or attracted you that is not common to human experience (and no temptation is unusual or beyond human resistance); but God is faithful (to his word – he is compassionate and trustworthy), and he will not let you be tempted beyond your capacity (to resist), but with the temptation that he (has in the past and is now and) will (always) provide the exit as well, so that you can endure it (without giving in, and conquer temptation with joy).
We were beautifully created and equipped with powerful self-defense against the sharks of this world!