Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Water, Water Everywhere

Jeff and I were discussing an issue on our property today, and as we drew a life parallel, I said, as I often do, "That's a blog post!”

Jeff agreed. Then he surprised me by saying, “You don't get to write that blog post. It's not your story. It's my story. You're going to have a guest blogger."

I'm honored. Take it away, Jeff.


Becky has informed you of the amazing goodness of God in His provision of our home we like to call Rivendell. One of the joys of discovering the untamed beauty of this land is mowing. Actually, quite a lot of mowing. 

I try to take advantage of each non-rainy day to do a little mowing. You'll notice I didn't say each sunny day. I said non-rainy. This is Oregon. This being Oregon, mowing rain-soaked grass is normal, but down by the pump house, there was a section that was just too wet, too soupy, too slimy to mow. 

We have a water softener because our water is bad out of the well, and the softener expels a little water onto the ground as part of its cycle. At first, I thought the extra soupy lawn was due to softener brine discharge.

As the ground below the pump house continued to become more and more saturated, it became apparent that something else was going on. After looking a little closer, I found the ground was wet even above the pump house. I mentioned to Becky in passing a few times that I thought we had a leak, but today, I finally grabbed my shovel and went looking for it.

It wasn't too hard to find, and it wasn't actually that far below the surface.

See that? Just a little tiny leak. Not so bad. Not even hard to fix. The whole repair only took about 45 minutes.

In the house, when I know there's a water leak, I find it and fix it right away. Who wants a steady stream of water flowing across the floor? But the leaky pipe in the yard was another story. I knew it was there for a few weeks, and I just put off fixing it. I thought, “It's no big deal,” and I allowed it to remain.

But look.

Everything from the shadow in the foreground to the yellow shovel handle leaning against the grapevine in the background is totally saturated. A pencil-sized leak turned an area almost twice the size of our home into a marshy, boggy mess. The leak is fixed, but the ground won't dry out for weeks. Small leak, big impact.

I recently joined a Pure Desire small group at our church, and God used the leak in our yard to bring home a point He's been hammering into me about some secret sins in my life. I was under the impression for many years that they were no big deal, not hurting anyone, not really causing that much damage.

But God is showing me that just like the small leak in our yard, ignoring my secret issues ended up causing a lot of damage as those issues inevitably overflowed into the rest of my life, affecting not only myself but those around me, and tainting my life in ways I never even fathomed.
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
~Luke 6:45

But there's hope for me. And if you relate to what I'm talking about, there's hope for you.

The water softener in our yard makes the well water good for dishes, laundry and showering, but plug your nose unless you like the smell of rotten eggs. We use an additional filter at the kitchen sink for drinking and cooking. Take a look.

Regular tap water on the right, drinking water on the left. At first glance, both streams of water seem like good options. But the bottles in the background show the difference.

When the well water in the bottle on the right was exposed to air and light for an ample amount of time, the iron content oxidized and changed color. The water flowing from the tap on the right has been softened, but it still makes you sick when you drink it.

The drinking water in the bottle on the left shows what our filtered water looks like over time. It is clean, clear, pure, odor-free, good, and refreshing.
Jeremiah 2:13 says, “For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned Me – the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all.”

The secret sins in my life look just like our well water when exposed to the light of God. I am just like the people in Jeremiah's time when I abandon God and seek to fill my desires apart from Him. So many times, I drink rotten water, trying to fill up on things that do not satisfy. It leaves me sick and thirsty, needing more and more.

But when I turn to Jesus Christ and drink His living water, my thirst is quenched and my soul is truly satisfied.
Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
~John 4:13-14

When I bottle up the water on our property and get a good look at the poison in the well water, it's a clear choice which water I'm going to drink. (Get it? Clear?) I'm never going to look at those two bottles and choose the yucky brown stuff.

And when I expose my secret sin to the light and get a good look at how it's poisoning my life, again, the choice is clear. By the grace of God, I'm choosing the living water of Jesus Christ.


Thank you, Jeff, for choosing Jesus, for choosing me, and for helping me choose living water. I love you.