Living “in” Jesus Like a Duck, a Fish, a Beaver

In the Bible, God talks about being “in” Jesus the way a branch is “in” its vine. Since most of us don’t keep vineyards, maybe we could think about something more familiar.

What would it be like to live “in” Jesus like a fish lives “in” water? The fish knows no other environment. It can survive in no other environment. Water is its home and its life. Living “in” Jesus like a fish would be to find yourself unable to survive any other way.

Chinook Salmon.

Chinook Salmon. Photo ©2007 Josh Larios. Permission via the Creative Commons 2.0 License.

But, you ask, what about the land? God made it as well.

Perhaps, then, we should live “in” Jesus as a beaver lives “in” the world. He climbs across the earth to chop down the wood for his home, but builds the house so that every time he enters, he must swim below the water’s surface — a reminder of baptism. To live in Jesus like the beaver, we would enjoy the skills and enterprise God has put in us, but always remember they are gifts from God, not anything we’ve created or earned.

A beaver swims.

A beaver swims.

Air, you ask: what about God’s good air and sky?

Maybe then, we must live “in” Jesus as a duck lives in God’s world: waddling, flying, swimming, and diving as the moment’s needs might require, but always dependent on the One who created all. To live in Jesus like the duck is to be ready for every condition and open to every condition: like the apostle Paul, able to be content in every circumstance and prepared for every circumstance.

Female Long-tailed duck

Female Long-tailed duck, North Dakota Birding Society.

The fish, the beaver, and the duck show three different ways to live “in” Christ. How do you live “in” Christ?


About Carlene Hill Byron

The former editor of New England Church Life and The New England Christian, Carlene Hill Byron is enjoying being home in Maine after 20 years in North Carolina. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild. Find her at, and on Facebook at MyHouseHasHistory.
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