Where the water flows there is life….
–Ezekiel 47:9, Paraphrased
I know I’ve been exploring the topic of living water in a couple of these posts. For some reason, this verse in Ezekiel keeps coming to mind, so I’m praying into this and inviting you to join me.
Sometimes, after a challenging day or week, I struggle to see anything “good” around me. My nickname on such occasions is Eeyore among those who know me best. Maybe I assume the light and life of Christ is absent or something, but the fact is, they are not. Christ lives in me. He lives in the heart of every believer. I love the imagery of Psalm 46:4, Ezekiel 47:9, and Revelation 22:1 in this regard. God’s presence flows into the wastelands of my heart, and everything lives. Salty water turns fresh, fruit trees burst forth offering constant food and healing. It’s just taking a bit longer than I had hoped…
Yet, Jesus invites me (us) to drink deeply of him so that I (we) become that kind of life-giving, fruit-bearing presence to others. Beautiful. A bit overwhelming. Yet, inviting…
Would you try something with me? Can you try putting on your imagination cap for a few minutes and enter the scene depicted in Ezekiel? Picture the wasteland: you’ve been on a long, difficult journey and your supplies are getting low—especially water. Your tongue sticks to the roof of your mouth. You can barely swallow.
Now, you see the temple from which flows a river. Step into the water! Feel the refreshing coolness, the thirst-quenching sweet droughts as you drink deeply. This river is tame at first, only ankle-deep. As you walk further, the river eventually overwhelms. You cannot cross. It’s too wide and deep.
Back on the bank, you start to notice trees. Lots of them. Somehow, you can also see where the river empties into the sea (a biblical image for chaos and even death), but rather than take on the qualities of the sea, this water changes the sea changing saltwater into fresh. Imagine that! Allow yourself to wonder and marvel at the remarkable nature of this incredible river. Where the river flows everything will live. Take as much time as you wish here.
Now consider the barren relational places in your own life. Where are the broken relationships, the words or actions that have brought barrenness to your heart and soul? What have you done with them? Do you just tuck them away, use them to confirm other deadening words and actions from the past? Take these hurts, anxious moments, your own failed attempts to love, and bring them—yourself—to the water. Step in, ankle deep at first. Wade a bit deeper allowing the life-giving current to tug at you as if to sweep you away should you get any deeper. What are you feeling in this flow?
I’ll leave you to it. Using your imagination, immerse yourself in these texts and begin taking note of how God brings life into these barren places of your heart.