From the time I was a little boy fishing with a bobber and a worm (which I still do on occasion), I have taken every opportunity to “wet a line.” One of my wife’s favorite pictures of me is from my childhood, proudly holding up a 15-inch largemouth bass, sporting a gap-toothed grin from ear to ear. To a 6-year-old, that’s a big catch on the old bobber and worm.
God blessed me with a wife who also enjoys being on the water and “pulling creatures up from the deep.” We both grew up fishing but did so using completely different techniques. While I was fishing with a bobber and worm, she was learning to hand-line from her grandpa (Papa), a lifelong career fisherman, on the waters of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Nova Scotia. It has been fun and frustrating for us to learn each other’s fishing technique—mostly for me because she constantly outfishes me.
Recently, we were able to do some fishing in the Cape Canaveral area of Florida. Our guide, Captain Frank, took us and a father and son from Tennessee out to try our hand at catching redfish and whatever else was biting. Together we spent a great morning on the water. We caught redfish and other species including crevalle jack, flounder, pinfish, and catfish; and yes, the pattern held true, my wife did indeed outfish me. She even caught “my” redfish. But I got over it, and that evening we enjoyed our catch in a delicious meal.
So often when I am on the water and my line is tight with another sleek specimen, or I am sitting at the table relishing the different flavors that resulted from a good day of fishing—there’s no fresher fish than what you’ve caught yourself—I reflect on the amazing diversity in God’s creation. God made the waters teem with living creatures and blessed them, commanding them to multiply according to their kinds.
God celebrated diversity and uniqueness in creation, so how can we do otherwise? Part of our responsibility as stewards of God’s good gift of creation is to protect, when we can, the diversity within the myriad ecosystems. All creatures individually demonstrate the goodness and creativity of our God, even more so when they are considered all together. Herman Bavinck noted in his discussion of God’s glory: “There is endless diversity in order that all of them together [created beings] might reveal the glory of God.” The next time you are on or near the water, remember that below the surface is a swimming symphony of praise to God that flashes in hues of every color in the spectrum.
Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth” (Genesis 1:20-23)