When I was growing up in Florida, I loved it when my family or youth group would take a trip to Wekiwa Springs. The springs there created one of the best swimming spots in central Florida. The water was cool, clear and fresh as it bubbled up from deep in the earth and flowed out from the springs to form the Wekiwa River.
The main spring fountained up with such power that it formed a constant bubble on the surface of the water. One of my favorite activities at Wekiwa Springs was to jump from the three-foot retaining wall right onto the top of that bubble of water. The force of the water would buoy me up so quickly that the top of my head didn’t even get wet!
Near my home was also a medium-size lake. I never went swimming there. The water was not fed by a spring, and it did not flow into a river. It just sat there and grew stagnant. Algae covered the surface all along the shore, and it was a breeding ground for mosquitoes, water moccasins, and alligators. The irony was the lake’s name: Clear Lake.
In Jeremiah 2:13, God says about His people, “The have abandoned me, the fountain of living water, and dug cisterns for themselves.”
How foolish I am at times! God, the source of life, the fountain of living water, offers Himself to me every moment of every day, but I turn away. I get caught up in all the distractions of life and depend on my own power to get me through, instead of turning to Him for refreshment and support.
The result is that I become stagnant. Without His life bubbling up inside of me, and without His love flowing out of me, I turn in on myself. Prideful sin begins to fester, and I become a breeding ground for resentment, conceit and judgement. The irony is what I call myself: Christian.
Praise God for Jesus! He wasn’t afraid to dive into the putrid water of my life with me and immerse Himself in my sin to rescue me. That’s why He went to the cross. Jesus, in love for me, drowned that day in my place. And when He slipped below the surface, all my stagnation and muck got sucked down with Him. My water is clear.
Then, when the risen Jesus burst forth through the surface of that water on Easter morning, He gave me new life and promised to never leave. He is still with me and still in me, bubbling up with new life each and every day.
That’s how I can face the challenges of each day. That’s how I can serve others in His name. That’s how I can love as He loves me. Jesus promises you and me, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:38). May it be so for each of us today.
Written by: Pastor Moser