Acts 18:9-11 - Then the Lord said to Paul in a night vision, “Don’t be afraid, but keep on speaking and don’t be silent. For I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to hurt you, because I have many people in this city.” And he stayed there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
When my family lived in Connecticut, visits to the Mystic Aquarium were always an exciting adventure. It is a wonderful place where families can have a great time and learn a lot about marine life. As families enter the main building the first thing seen is a huge round glass tank filled with fish.
Once time when my family was there, we noticed most of the fish were swimming the same way. But one lone fish was swimming the opposite direction. It was odd to see. As we kept watching, we noticed that lone fish was soon joined by another one. Now there were two fish swimming the opposite direction. Suddenly, there were three, and then four. All at once, the entire school pivoted and turned and began swimming the opposite direction, following the lead of one solitary fish that was willing to swim against the tide.
Witnessing the school of fish changing direction reminded me of the influence that one person can have on those around him or her. When a person first stands up for what is right, he or she is often alone. Then one or two other people come along to support the original individual. Then a few more come along to offer their support. Eventually enough critical mass is built up for significant change to happen in a whole group of people.
We are living in an age in which Christianity is mischaracterized, maligned, mocked and dismissed. But if we will stand strong for our faith, we can influence many people around us. We must not be afraid to be the lone fish swimming against the stream. God will bring others to help us. In time we can witness a significant difference in our sphere of influence as God works through a growing number of people willing to take a stand for what is right.
Lord, give us the courage to stand for what is right and holy, even if at first we stand alone. Amen.
This devotional is from the book “Heavenly Mundane” by Dr. Terry W. Dorsett. Dr. Dorsett has been a pastor, church planter, denominational leader and author in New England for more than 20 years. He is a happy husband, a proud father and adoring grandfather. He is a cancer survivor and believes that God works powerfully through times of suffering. He writes extensively and you can find all of his books at: