A team of 40 scientists from 17 nations announced the discovery of a hitherto fore unknown species of fish.
Until they find a better name, they’re calling it “the pink, the blue and the purple Atacama Snailfish.” As the name suggests, this fish lives at the bottom of the Atacama Trench, off the Southern West Coast of South America. Its habitat ranges between 24,000 and 26,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. There the pressure is a staggering 11,500 pounds per square inch (PSI).
How can this translucent and ghostly colored fish survive such pressures? It has a gelatinous body. Even its bones are very soft. In fact, the hardest parts of its body are the Snailfish’s teeth and a tiny bone in its inner ear.
You see, the Snailfish is designed to be compressible. Actually, it cannot survive without these intense pressures. The team of scientists managed to scoop up a specimen and bring it to the surface. But when they exposed it to the sea level air pressure (a mere 14.7 PSI), the poor Snailfish literally “melted away” before them. Other ocean—bottom fish fare poorly when brought to the surface. Some survive at the surface. Others fall apart. Some, if brought to the surface too quickly, will even explode.
You know, God has also designed human beings to be compressible. We are made to live under pressure—which is why “flexibility” is one of our greatest attributes. God designed us to be burden bearers, to carry responsibility, and to shoulder the cares and needs of others. God fashioned us to flourish beneath the weight of service. This is why the happiest people in the world are those who live selflessly and serve others. It’s also why human beings reach their zenith of performance when under fire and facing deadlines.
Yet, in our minds, this is so counterintuitive. We seek the very opposite of pressure. We crave leisure time and freedom from responsibility, when pressure is so vital to our existence. Zero pressure and responsibilities only leads to depression, anxiety, and often suicide. This is part of the reason why so many men over the age of 65 commit suicide. Retirement leaves them with a feeling of uselessness, worthlessness, and hopelessness. Their occupation gave them a profound sense of identity. And, once stripped of it, they feel detached and disoriented.
In Psalm 55 we can view the classic thought patterns of a person under pressure. The author, King David, yearns for escape from the pressures of the throne. He is saddled with heavy responsibilities. Political infighting and abrasive personalities wear him out. His sensitive nature is easily wounded by frequent criticism and betrayals. The pressure is relentless. And all David yearns to do is to “fly away and be at rest” (Psalm 55:6–8). He wants to run from the things which weigh him down.
Of course that would be catastrophic—to both David and to the nation God called him to lead. Without the responsibilities and the sense of divine calling, David would spiral downward emotionally and spiritually. Without David, Israel would become like a scattered flock of sheep without a shepherd.
In the Psalm David eventually finds the best way of survival. It is this: be faithful in the work God has called you to do. But also “cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you. He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Psalm 55:22). The New Testament counterpart of this verse is 1 Peter 5:7: “Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for You.”
Survival is not found in fleeing responsibility. Survival, even fulfillment, is found in bearing the burden God’s called us to shoulder but to do it with the strength that God supplies. “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). Remember this. When Jesus called people to find rest in Him, He told them to take up His yoke and His burden (Matthew 11:28–30). Rest is found in serving Jesus.
Dear Lord Jesus, open my eyes to the benefit and blessing I have in my burdens. Help me to see they are health–giving and life to me. Please strengthen me to bear all my responsibilities—to my family, to my Nation, and to You. Amen.
Information from: https://allthatsinteresting.com/snailfish-discovered-atacama-trench
Mariana snailfish feeding on the ocean floor by UW News licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0