Don’t Forget the Water

Along with a fabulous team of sweet friends, this past Saturday I had the honor and privilege of hosting 76 ladies at our church for the Living Proof Live Simulcast with Beth Moore.  We’ve had this on our calendar since last September and hosted this four times now.  There is a lot that goes into it; however, with a host of brothers and sisters it seems easy and goes smoothly. 

There are lot’s of little details to remember, like making the bathrooms pretty and putting goody bags together around the listening guides.  This year, we were gifted with the message of The Symphony.  So, we hung banner made with old sheet music and added little touches throughout the church.  One of the little details we added were mason jars with flowers from my garden; zinnia, cosmos, privet, solidago and butterfly bush for a little fragrance.  I have to admit, they were so pretty and colorful!  It wasn’t fancy, but it felt inviting. 

img_3035The night before, we set everything up and decorated; ladies and gentlemen from our church family pitching in to help out.  It looked lovely.  But you would imagine my surprise the next morning when I walked into the church to see the poor little cosmos drooped over in their jars.  My mom saw disappointment on my face and encouraged me with, “It looks a little like ivy drooping over the edge.  It’s o.k.”  Yes, sure!  We’ll go with it, not a big deal. 

The morning progressed as planned, without a hitch.  Fabulous!  Lunch time came and I grabbed a plate of food after most everyone else had set down to eat.  But upon sitting down to lunch, I noticed that not only did we have “ivy”, but ALL the flowers were browned and drooping.  What?! Why?!  They looked so sad!

Then it dawned on me.  I forgot to put water in the jars.   

The crazy part of all this?  I have a bachelors degree in plant science, horticulture.  I could spout off all the science behind what happens to plants when they watered, or not watered.  Plants need water.  Especially cut flowers.  How could I, out of all people, forget to put water in the jars?!  One little detail, missed. 

You see, all the details don’t matter if we forget the water.  Not just with physical water, but the water of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirt is represented by water several times in scriptures.  Take a look into John 7:37-38.

“37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ”  The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Jn 7:37–38). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

How often do we scramble around trying to remember everything for everyone else, and in our doing we forget to take the time to “water” ourselves?  It’s so important that we remember to receive the water for ourselves with God’s word, Holy Spirit, and by worshiping Him.  I told the ladies that day that I was so grateful for them taking the time out to “water” themselves in God’s Spirit. 

We must first take care of ourselves so that we can take care of others.  It’s hard to let the living waters flow from our hearts if we’re not coming to Jesus to drink ourselves.  If we are not “hydrating” and walking the way we should, it’s hard to shine the light on the path and lead others in the right direction.  Water is imperative for our growth and well being, especially spiritually. 

God desires to pour out His water upon our lives.  With His water, we will never go thirsty and dry up like those poor withered flowers on our lunch tables.  His water is eternal, it’s healing and a soothing balm to our parched souls.  It is a blessing to the Lord when we stop to drink from His cup.  Take time out for Him and you each day, taking a deep drink from the unending well of grace, mercy and love.

I’m so grateful for this past weekend and Beth’s amazing message.  I’m also grateful for the time to be watered deeply by Him.  

Roads

Everyone has them, days where your mind gets the best of you.  You go down the mental gravel road and get stuck in a pot hole.  When life is regimented with work and daily responsibilities are lined out so plainly, I don’t go down the road nearly as often.  I’m learning that although not always fun, for me a regular job is the safe and easy path.  Known and predictable.  However, in this current season I’m making some different choices.  I’m choosing to follow something that, although loaded with freedom and growth, it is anything but known or predictable.  Therefore, I frequently take off down the gravel road with Doubt and Questioning as my sidekick.  To tell you the truth, it’s becoming frustrating and rather annoying.  I start the day with expectation and it morphs into anxiety. 

I’m learning to get myself out and redirected before I get too far down the road.  So yesterday, even in the heat of the day and plagued with fall allergies, I took a long and brisk walk down our gravel road.  Just to get my body moving and provide a change of scenery.  During walks, my mind can be thoughtful, prayerful or completely blank.  It helps me re-center. 

On my walk yesterday, I headed towards the highway.  My mind had been somewhere

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You can barely see it, but there’s a little white speck where the trees and field meet, a little glimpse of the road.  Stay the course, with trust and reliance as your companion.

between prayerful and blank much of the way.  However, as I approached the highway I was talking to my Creator and asking if I was indeed on the right road with Him.  I paused for a few moments before turning around and heading home.  The visit continued, head down as I watched the gravel pass by at my feet. “Perhaps I’m supposed to be on that road over there?” (imagining several roads to choose from)  And then, I looked up.  There was only one road, and I was on it.  No other choice in sight. 

At this, I paused.  “Thank you, Lord.”  I surveyed the road ahead.  I could see a little ways in front of me, but then the road disappeared.  I knew it was there (I had just walked it), but couldn’t see it.  Then a bit further ahead the road rose and came back into view, providing a little peek.  It felt like He had given me enough of a peek of the road ahead to know that I’m on the right one, with plenty unseen to be kept me in a place of reliance and trust to grow and rely on Him.  And if I’m not on the right road, I trust that He will redirect. 

This was such an encouraging visual for this season.  Because the truth is, I have no idea what the journey ahead looks like.  Who does?  Be still and abide in Him, He is faithful to those who wait on Him, and to those who follow when He says it’s time to move.  The first step of obedience is to listen.  

“Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success where ever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:7 (ESV)