Good Presents From God: Marine Products
By Lin Xin, United States
Every time I see the sea, I am reminded of my hometown and how my villagers and family lived a happy life by relying on the sea for our food.
My father was a fisherman. Every morning before daylight, he had to go fishing on the sea. Hearing my father starting the motor, I would pray in my heart that he would come back safely. When seeing his fishing boat return, my brothers, sisters, and I would run joyously to the boat to see the bountiful deep-sea marine products that my father had brought to us. There were different types of fish including red-spotted groupers, yellow croakers, pike, grey ribbon fishes, mackerels, pomfrets, and so on; there were also plump juicy red shrimps and prawns with firm flesh, as well as various kinds of crabs such as stone crabs and swimming crabs—you name it, it was there. Seeing this, we all grinned from ear to ear.
My father bore the heavy burden of fishing out at sea, while my brothers, sisters, and I would go to gather seafood on the beach at ebb tide. We would take our tools before we set out. When the tide went out, a vast stretch of beach with smooth and clean sand was laid bare and it was very comfortable to walk on it. The adults and children were all busy around the stones on the beach in twos and threes in finding delicacies under them. With a spade, we could dig all kinds of conches, clams, scallops, clam-shells, and so on. There were also many stones which were covered with oysters. We would remove the shells of oysters with tools and put them into our mouths. At such times, we could not help sighing, “How delicious!” Then we continued to shuck more oysters and put them into the buckets, preparing to bring them home to make soup.
In the pools on the beach, there were leaping fish fry; on the rocks were rock whelk which could lay eggs, and squillas were also often seen there; in some of the rocks, there were small holes and almost each of them had small crabs in it. If we went on searching, we could find clams and Geoducks which were washed up from the deep sea when it was blowing hard. Sometimes we could also see that conches and Geoducks were adhering to oysters, as if they were family. After the rains, there were a lot of jellyfishes floating on the sea. Some of the elders would put cages into the sea, and the next day they would get plenty of eels, yellow croakers, basses, and so on.
On the submerged reefs, we also could find treasures: For example, on the rocks there grew patches of seaweed, which could be eaten after cleaned and boiled in water. There was also laver, which could be stored or sold for cash after dried by the sun. Almost every day we would go to the beach to collect seafood, but the marine products there were so plentiful, as if they would never be exhausted.
The pleasant hours passed quickly, and the tide was turning. The fascinating sunset glow reddened the western sky, and the sky and the sea were leaning together, which looked warm and peaceful. People who had gained a lot were trickling home with their baskets, asking one another how many seafood they had collected, with the joy of harvest on their faces. We children were running toward home, laughing and jesting, and we could not wait to taste the fresh marine products we had just gained.
The rich and plentiful food from the vast sea does not need to be managed by anyone but can supply us year after year. This is too wonderful! So I often thought in my heart: Where do these marine products come from? Why are they forever inexhaustible?
One day, I saw the Bible say: “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:9-10). “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that has life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:20–21). Then I also saw the word of God say, “As God’s words were spoken, fresh new life, each with a different form, instantly came alive amidst the words of the Creator. They came into the world jostling for position, jumping, frolicking for joy…. Fish of all shapes and sizes swam through the water, shellfish of all kinds grew out of the sands, scaled, shelled, and spineless creatures hurriedly grew forth in different forms, whether great or small, long or short. So too did various kinds of seaweed begin to briskly grow, swaying to the motion of the various aquatic life, undulating, urging the stagnant waters…. Each conferred life upon the other, and at the same time, each, in the same way, bore testament to the miraculousness and greatness of the Creator’s creation, and to the unsurpassable power of the Creator’s authority …” “The reason humans have survived until now is because God has supplied mankind with all beings to nurture them, to nurture mankind in different ways. It is only because God nurtures mankind in different ways that they have survived until now, that they have survived until the present day.”
After reading these words, I finally understood: It turns out that all these marine products come from God’s original creation. Prior to creating man, God had separated the seas from the land. He caused the land to bring forth all kinds of fruits and vegetables, and let the birds and beasts appear upon the earth. Also, He caused the seas to bring forth countless fishes, shellfishes, algae, and so on. The rich and various marine creatures are distributed across different seas and have their own respective laws for survival. Thinking of this, I could not help but praise: How inexhaustible the life bestowed by God is and how immeasurable God’s deeds are!
In the past, I only knew how to enjoy these marine products but didn’t know that it is God who has been gratuitously providing us with them so that we have survived by relying on the sea, generation after generation. God’s love is so great! We cannot see God by our eyes, but whenever we see the various kinds of marine products endlessly provided for us, how can we not gasp in admiration at the greatness of the Creator’s creation in our hearts? And how can we not be thankful to God for His true love for us? It is God who provides us with everything. And we have been enjoying the provision from God, generation after generation.
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