We can glean rich, spiritual insights from nature as we see God’s handiwork in creation. “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display His craftsmanship” (Ps. 19:1, NLT). The universe testifies to God’s creative genius. The natural world gives us glimpses into the spiritual realm. Recently, the Discovery Channel ran their annual “Shark Week” marathon. As I watched some shows, I pondered some spiritual lessons we learn from one of God’s amazing creatures—the remora:
- A remora attaches to something bigger than itself. A remora is a relatively small fish (12-43 inches). It has a unique suction cup on top of its head and can attach to something much bigger than itself (sea turtles, sharks, whales, sting rays, even boats). That’s what we should do. Get connected to someone bigger than us—God. We are small and weak, but He is great and strong. There are many things in life we can’t handle, but God can! David prayed, “When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy . . . I will trust in the shelter of Your wings” (Ps. 61:2-4). When the problem is bigger than you, lean on the God who is bigger than the problem!
- The remora and shark have a mutually beneficial relationship. The remora benefits from safety and food as well as oxygenated water (life) flowing over its gills as it is pulled along. The shark benefits from the remora cleaning its skin and eating parasites. God benefits from our worship, our love, and doing His will in this world. We benefit from God with salvation, healing, deliverance, eternal life, joy, peace, grace, forgiveness, and much more. “Blessed be the Lord who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation” (Ps. 68:19). There are numerous benefits to serving God. Plus, the retirement plan is out of this world!
- A remora has a super strong grip. The suction cup disc on a remora’s head resembles a tennis shoe tread. It latches on and vacuum seals and can hold on tight through swift swimming maneuvers and strong currents. That’s the key to being a strong Christian—keep holding on to Jesus through the wind, the waves, and the storms of life. “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised)” (10:23). Jesus said, “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (Rev. 3:11). We need to get firmly connected to Christ in faith and stay connected. Hold on to Jesus with a remora-like, vise grip and don’t let go!
- A remora receives provision. A remora attached to a shark doesn’t have to worry about its next meal. Remoras eat the scraps from the shark’s prey as well as parasites on the shark. The shark is their free meal ticket. Remember, the Syrophoenician Woman said to Jesus, “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table” (Mt. 15:27). We serve Jehovah Jireh—the Lord our Provider. He’s not the God of barely enough; He is El Shaddi—the all sufficient one—the God who is more than enough. We can trust Him to provide for us in supernatural ways and via unexpected sources. “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Ps. 84:11). If it’s God’s will, it’s God’s bill. Wherever He guides, He also provides.
- A remora receives protection. Do you think a remora joined to a massive shark or whale fears any predators? No way! It enjoys the protection of its own personal bodyguard. The same is true for us—“If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31). You’ve heard the saying, “Don’t mess with Texas!” Well, Satan, don’t mess with God or His people because you’re picking a fight you can’t win. “For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield” (Ps. 5:12). There is a barrier, a force field, an unseen hand between us and our enemies that cannot be breached. We don’t have to fear. We are securely held in the nail-scarred hand of Jesus, and nothing can pluck us out (Jn. 10:28-29).
- A remora receives free transportation. A remora can travel much farther, faster, and deeper in the ocean when connected to a shark or a whale. The same is true for us spiritually—we can go a lot farther than we could ever go on our own when we are married to Christ. He takes us to deeper dimensions in the Word and in the Spirit that we could never reach by ourselves. So, hold on tight and enjoy the ride.
One last thought. Remoras are classified as a type of suckerfish. Well, I guess you can just call us Christians suckers for Jesus. Like a tenacious remora, we are clinging to Him for dear life, and we won’t let go.