When considering a topic as historically rich as koi symbolism, one must look at the legends and myths surrounding the koi fish to discover it's true meaning within the context of Japanese and Chinese culture.
Dragon's Gate on Yellow River
According to Chinese legend, there was a place called Dragon's Gate at the top of a large waterfall on Yellow River. Carp would swim up the river, against the current to reach the base of the waterfall. Although many would try, only a few were brave and able enough to attempt the final leap up the waterfall. It was said that if a carp was able to complete the journey through Dragon's Gate at the top of the falls, then it would be transformed into a powerful dragon.
In Chinese culture, the dragon is a symbol of great power.
The story symbolizes that anybody who is able to persevere through great trials can accomplish their highest goals to become great.
That's our Eli...
The Koi that becomes a Dragon, accomplishing all that he dreams to achieve, becoming a great and godly man, and so much more.