Puffer fish are cumbersome swimmers. They lumber along looking for algae, shellfish and other yummy treats. They have no shells, and big elastic stomachs. They also puff up at the slightest sign of trouble.
If you’re a parent, you’ve seen puffer fish show up in movies such as “Finding Nemo” and “Shark Tail” . These characters take a deadly and toxic fish, and give him a humourous side. Often times, the characters will bloat, or puff up when it’s least convenient for everyone especially them. The character will feel a microcosom of stress and puff up but will have overreacted to the situations making it humourous. Here’s a fun fact, puffer fish have toxic spines that are 1,200 times more deadly than cyanide and there is enough toxin in just one puffer fish to kill 30 adults. Pretty crazy stuff, huh.
Sometimes I feel like an emotional puffer fish. I’m cruising along, minding my own business, when suddenly words from the enemy strike. (He knows which ones they are) For me, I’ve identified certain trigger words and topics of conversations that send my “stress-o-meter” into the red. BOOM! I bloat and send out hurtful words and random fiery darts into the deep.
Yep, even I do it.
I only say that, because some of you out there think I’m some sort of “Bible Girl” fingers flying over God-inspired keys while sitting in mask and cape, ready to save the world and never puff up. Okay….yes…suddenly the cape idea seems really cool right now, but unfortunately the “Bible Girl” superhero name hasn’t caught on and I still bloat like a puffer fish.
It drives me to frustration. Half the time I know it’s the devil prodding and poking, trying to stress me out, which, in turn, makes me bloat, and the other half of the time; I just get a surprise attack on my bloating spine and boom, I’m a huge pokey mess.
So we must answer the question, when is it ever okay to bloat?
A few times come to mind, PMS, too much salt, that gassy feeling that causes….well you get the picture.
No really, in all seriousness, what should a person do?
Three positives for every negative.
This is a “rule-of-thumb”. No, I don’t know whose thumb. No I don’t know where the rule is when you need to measure for a refrigerator. That’s just what I heard about things of the mental kind and staying positive.
So here are three potent positives to keep “the bloat” under control.
- “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13
- “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
- “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3
We have a powerful tool for our mental quickness right there in the Word of God. Why is it so powerful?
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” Hebrews 4:12
It discerns thoughts of your heart, and the person doing the poking and prodding. If we use it like the weapon it is, we can escape with ungainly skill and save ourselves the emotional bloating and poisonous outcomes. God did not leave us here defenseless! He also knows that if you’re puffed out and stressed out, you can’t hear His still small voice. This is a fun fact… I have yet to find it anywhere in scripture where God yells at someone to get their attention. Because He never does. It’s the at still small voice we have to listen for. The devil knows this too. He knows we struggle to hear God’s voice and will try to get us huffing and puffing all the time. We must be wary of this and guard our hearts with ALL diligence, because it is our most treasured possession.
“Keep (guard) thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23
God bless you today!