Ernest Baylor is one of the funniest and most amazing teachers I’ve encountered. As he was teaching during Sunday School, he shared a story. He recalled a time a child asked him what happened to the fish during Noah’s Ark. If God had a place for two of every kind, where did the fish go when the rain came down? It was an excellent question and one none of us thought about. His response was one that caused a frenzy, almost a revival. He said after much research, he found out that the fish go deeper when storms occur. His response was a lesson for all of us. Storms do come in life and the response of the fish is one that we all could learn from.
I decided to conduct my own research to affirm what Ernest shared. According to the National Weather Service, most fish swim below the surface when lightning strikes occur and are unaffected. Another site on fishing states that severe storms can be sensed by fish and they will seek deep water for safety. Fish can sense the severity of a storm and will act accordingly days before the actual storm arrives. Interestingly enough, fish are paying attention to the signs around them.
In 1 Chronicles 12:32, the tribe of Issachar was known for their ability to pay attention to the signs and seasons. “From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.” The tribe of Issachar had discernment. Discernment is to understand or know something through the power of the Spirit. God has given us the ability to utilize discernment to know the changes in times or seasons.
Jesus made a point to share the importance of discernment. “Then He also said to the multitudes, “Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?” (Luke 12:54-56)
We live in a world that focuses so much on intellect that we often miss the spiritual and the move of God. I was meeting with a young lady and asked her how she knew she was to move forward with a particular project. Her reply was that it made her feel good. So many of us are just like her, we move based on how we feel instead of seeking God for discernment and wisdom. When we are met with hardships or failures, instead of going deeper into God for guidance, we seek affirmation for our feelings.
Our success depends on our ability to not only know the seasons and times but to also understand God’s will. What does the Bible say about discernment?
Discernment will allow us to know the difference between what is good and evil. “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:14 ESV)
In seeking God through the Word, God will teach and show us our motivation. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
Discernment will allow us to understand and see things in ways that the world cannot. “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV)
We can learn a lot from fish when storms arise in our lives. We can go deeper into God to understand and discern the seasons. Instead of being blown away by the turbulence that occurs, we can go to safety and be protected no matter what is going on around us.
Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the President of Soulstice Consultancy, LLC and the Founder of the Reconciliation and Restoration (r2fdn.org) Foundation. The author of 4 books including Empowering Charity: A New Narrative of Philanthropy, Dr. Booker-Drew is also the host of the Tapestry Podcast.