Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Epaulette Shark

The epaulette shark walks on land—well, kind of. It is the only shark that lives in water so shallow that when the tide recedes at night, the shark is literally landlocked. It is able to live more than one hour without oxygen by slowing or shutting down many of its major bodily systems. Then it uses its club-like fins to push off the seafloor, moving along the land with ease.

While other sharks have to retreat in low tide, the epaulette shark can “walk” from tidal pool to tidal pool, eating its fill on all the prey left behind. This shark is undisturbed by other predators and the transient land becomes its feeding ground. God designed that specific shark to go where other sharks can’t go.

Just like the epaulette sharks, God designed each of us to enter places other people can’t go in order to reach His people with the Good News of Jesus Christ. We are all specifically wired to enter certain “tidal pools” of darkness, bringing the Light of Christ with us.  

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14 (NIV)

However, many times we don’t realize that we have these special abilities until God recedes the waters of our comfort zones.

When we feel like fish out of water, we must not retreat back to easy currents. God will bring forth capabilities that we never knew we had, which are only triggered by this “transient” situation. We may flounder a bit at first, but God created us into a unique masterpiece perfectly suited for our new environment. 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

We will soon adapt and excel.

For this reason, we should never compare ourselves to others because they are reaching different tidal pools than we are. Also, we should only discern the work of others by their fruit (Matthew 7.15-20). What they are doing may seem weird to us, but they are reaching a different people group who are out of our sphere of influence. If they are spreading the Good News of Christ, and people are being saved and transformed, we should pray for them, not criticize them.

Jesus says that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. There are fields of opportunity before us. We can keep our eyes on our tidal pools, allowing God to transform us into our best design for the work He has for us. Also, we can encourage those who are making a difference in God’s kingdom, trusting that there is plenty of harvest for us all. 

“Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’” Matthew 9:37-38 (NKJV)

Copyright © Alisa Hope Wagner, used with permission.

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