Upstream - the Gate of the Fish
Dave Hood

At the outset, I would like to say that this is for a lady who's chat name is divine, who, should she read this, may she be blessed, for this is Gods word for her. Apart from her, it is to every precious child of God and for those in the country of the United Kingdom, whom God loves - but also for every lover of Gods Kingdom itself.

This is essentially the story of the epic struggle salmon face as each battles upstream against the rivers downward tide to the spawning grounds of the upper pools, nearer to the beginning of the rivers source. It mimics, mirrors, represents through their struggle the struggle of every Christian and every country that would desire to live for and under God. No matter how young, old or able. This is a message of struggle, but also a message of hope.

Deep down inside every Christian is the same desire as that of the salmon. Deep down in each of us is the core, the underlying desire to spend oneself for God in the spawning grounds. It?s a journey each one of us makes, full of trepidation, danger and trouble. The source of that danger is the rocks and falls, the rapids and currents. The journey is often all too hard, the obstacles almost too difficult and high to overcome.

Some of us find ourselves, lingering in slower eddies and pools at the side of the main stream. Some of us rest here but spend too short a time before we dash and venture out again. Others spent of their energy find themselves lingering longer than they need, not wanting to face the rigors of the flight upstream.

Our desire and longing, built into each one of us, is to make that journey in love and to create, to procreate for God and to produce from the milt of our lives, offspring for Him.

Many of us become too tired and worn down, to scared, to idle, to lonely, to troubled and to worried to believe that we can even want to, never mind engage and finally make and complete the journey. It is a message of hope, why?, because in the midst of this struggle God wants to reverse the flow of the stream, of this waters currents, to connect you once again to the very flow of His source, not against you, but for you.

And its seems so lonely and hard, for each and every fish has to make its own journey, deposited in the throng of the shoals, to make, compete and complete within the pools shallows. Depositing their seed, setting off the process that makes more children for Him. Children, those themselves will find the desire to swim upstream for and to Him.

All this against the current of opinion, against the rocks of adversity, against the falls of sin, avoiding the many predators. The bear, the fox, the falcon and the eagle and the crow. Above all to avoid the greatest predator?man?within (ourselves) and without (our kind)

The last is self explanatory; the danger is often within the church and not necessarily without. The fox is the one who spoils, eats the spoils the larger animals leave, the crow falls on that which is essentially carrion, what?s left when all have had their piece. The falcon, is the bird of prey as is the eagle and the eagle, the prophetic that has damaged the church, though not all eagles are damaging and not all eagles are undamaged as we seemingly shoo them away from the fish.

Some of us wonder if we will ever get there, to the end of our journey, to be fruitful in our quest of duty in love. Perhaps some of us wonder?will we be found where we lie, or where we fall? Some gasping for breath, some cut by our falls and collisions, some rudderless, worn in the fins of our tails, with some or part of them missing. A wounded monster, crippled and on the brink, gasping for breath and life.

But hear me, hear this - a surge is coming, a currents flow that is contrary to the flow downstream, a flow that is greater and stronger than its downward surge and plume. It flows on this rivers far bank?and listen, look and see.  I see many finding it.

A river flows and flows upstream, as if driven by a tail wind, a wind that gets behind the fish. hear me? listen and see? a way is being made - a way is being opened - a way is being brought about. The fish begin to sense it and see it and fall in and follow into its flow. Here there is no bubble and froth, but a strong, clean and clear stream, jettisoning these fish forward. These fish are me and they are you, they are every Christian who lives and faces the struggles we all engage in and face, there is none strong, we are all weak.

As the fish, the salmon enter this stream, a new eagerness, verve and invigorating intensity engages as they sense and find their help - a way has been opened up - a resurgence of love, effort and hope oxygenates and fills and refills their gills. A catapulting forward occurs using the stream at the far banks side as its guiding strength. Whatever the obstacles, they now know they have a run at it, space and power that never existed this way in this place for them before.

So the ancient paths and ancient purposes, seem once more real and open to them to explore, to find and expand themselves once more, even more fully than ever before. That which is lost is found. That which was far away has become, nearer and clearer, that which was once seemingly unobtainable becomes more obtainable, more than ever before envisaged or imagined. Becoming more attuned towards the summation of their desires. That which was lost has been found and this to bring more completeness for evermore.

Our milt will not go to waste, but will be hand milked by the hand of God. The zeal of the Lord will accomplish this. Never (again) get tired of swimming upstream.  God has found and is opening up a way.

How will we ever know that we will ever completely make this journey? Well it's because the One we love and who loves us has made this journey before. Only where we faltered and failed. He succeeded, and by finding the same streaming current of love, we can get there too. Only He did it in perfection, we will do it in imperfection. Where we fail, He succeeds. Where we falter, He flies. Where we are weak, He is strong. When we won?t wait, He will. When we won't hurry, He has. He has never and will never miss a season yet, as long as God is God and the seasons are seasons - he will yet, and already has sown into our season.

He has experienced all our eddies, flows and turbulences, faced overcoming our obstacles and falls. Has come out on top despite experiencing our death at the bottom of the shallowness of our own streaming river and despite the loss of all our energies...rose and gave life to us?and all our future seed. For he is there before our very beginning and will be there always at our very end awaiting our final arrival home, within the halls and streams of the very Home of Life itself. And we arrived knowing that every step of the way, every swing and sway of our tail is generated by the indwelling Spirit of the procreator of our very creation, filling and covering every swim of our way. In Him, towards you is no anger, no determination in Him for you to enter any of His wrath
but to enter into , here, in life, with you, so that you may have and keep
your perfect and complete rest.

I look and listen yet more closely - how is it  I think, that though you are there at our very beginning and you are there at our very end and though you have swum, faced and overcome in our death, how is it though, that you can still help me now?  I look and see and realize as I peer to the far bank that the current and form is not merely what I expected to see. It is not simply the bankside that directs the upward flow of the river at all but rather the body of a man, inclined at an angle pointing in towards the centre of the stream.  I realize that it is the body of Him, Jesus our Christ, Gods great fish, the progenitor of our species, that angles Himself, within the flow of our stream, so taking the force and the brunt of the violence of the streams downward torrent of flow, that he stills and silences the energies of the currents tow.

He has placed Himself besides, alongside us and with us and has not forgotten us or left us to our fate. As I look into His face that was once and still is God's first fish, who experienced the failing and weakness of mans and manys' own strength. He shows us that he is still with us and for us and laying down Himself into our own stream and plans to bring for us our perfect rest and place of peace?

And with us and for us changes the strength and direction of the eddies and currents that wage against, His and our flow - for He is Emmanuel, God with us and God with us NOW  because He cares for us, because he loves us.  He cares and knows what we are going through.  We know through this - our own strength, never has and never ever will be enough.

Galatians 6:9:
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up?.we will not lose heart, we will, we shall, reap even more once again a great harvest and a great rest. Stream, stream, streaming to you, look for my flow, streaming for you. I Am opening up a way; I Am opening up a way through for you, for all of you. Lord I am coming, I am coming to your flow, for you have opened up yourself to me, Lord I now open myself up to you, to the Love of your Flow.

I believe it is His intention to bring us through, it is my belief, despite what may happen, it is His intention to find and to make a way for this His small Kingdom, His little Britain, to bring it through and make it Great and United in Him, stronger and greater, bigger and wider than it has ever been seen to be before. Amen.