A picture paints a thousand words, and the damage to this Clorox jug will serve as a metaphorical picture of the unrequited rage and deep primordial hatred of our ancient foe. Jug fishermen use plastic bottles like this for floats as they put out baited hooks in hopes of catching the big catfish. Once a jug begins to bob up and down or becomes snagged in the labyrinth of the lily pads, it usually signals a hooked fish. The jugs don’t catch fish; they simply carry the bait to the fish and alert the fisherman that he has one on the hook.
This jug was the victim of an alligator attack. It happens on a regular basis. It’s a nuisance, but it really does nothing to deter a jug fisherman, who pulls another one out and ties a hook on it. Occasionally, you lose one, and there’s nothing you can do because alligators are protected by the Federal government. Big deal, there are far more jugs than there are gators.
Who knows what that red-eyed monster was thinking or why it destroyed this jug? Perhaps it went after the big bream we were using as bait and got a surprise when the hook snagged in a tender place. Perhaps it simply hated the presence of the bottle in its bog. Who knows and who cares? The alligator is one enemy a jug fisherman cannot worry about. These reptiles are a part of the eco-system, and thus we are forced to co-exist with them.
Switch gears, but keep the frightening picture of the gator attacking the jug in the back of your mind. Picture the devil and his demonic angels as gators sliding silently through the dark waters of the cosmos seeking souls to devour. Peppered here and there are the fishermen of Christ, working the same dark soup, going after the very same souls. Every soul in that black water will spend eternity somewhere. The question is where—heaven or hell? Look out your office cubicle—your kitchen window—the rear view mirror of your automobile— to the left and right, sitting in the little league bleachers—every person you see will be alive a million years from now in either be in heaven or in hell.
Now back to the jug. In this cosmic struggle for the souls of men, women, boys, and girls it represents you and me. We are not the bait or the hook, we are the simple floats—the vehicles—that God uses to carry the Gospel where the fish (the lost people) are congregating. We carry the message like the jug carries the hook, and the enemy hates us for it. He hates us because he hates our Savior. Get used to it! It’s been this way from the beginning.
From time to time our frustrated enemy erupts in rage or hatred and bites at us for rescuing those he considers his own. Don’t get hung up on the tooth marks or the pain you might incur. Wipe off the blood, reach back in the boat, and get another jug. One day when you stand in heaven, surrounded by the souls you snatched from hell you can tell them your fish tales and show them your scars.
As a jug fisherman might say, “Forget the gators, the fish are tearing it up—hand me another jug!”