A few weeks ago I described the lawns across the street – one well watered, one not. Since that time, the lawn that was languishing in the relentlessly dry Texas heat is showing a creeping greenness. Why? Our neighbor turned on the sprinkling system that now irrigates the lawn in the wee early hours of the day. The brown patches are receding, even as the temperatures climb. The blessing of water – consistently and gently available – is having an obvious effect before my eyes.
However the same water that waters this lawn is creating problems elsewhere in the neighborhood. I described my encounter with the torrents of dirty water a broken water main released yesterday. Today on our early morning walk, we encountered the results of the city opening up a fire hydrant. At one point a city worker hopped from his truck and dropped what we think were large chlorine tablets into the rushing water. Some curbs were so inundated with muddy water, crossing them was a challenge – taking wide strides across water and mud is tricky with balance issues and bifocals.
Looking up one alley, we saw a large excavation – something was wrong. We don’t know whether this is scheduled repair work on an old system, or an unexpected problem. But the same water that is refreshing a dying lawn is creating obstacles for our walks.
Water is a hot topic of conversation any day. Whether we talk about its power revealed in tsunamis, floods and storms; lament its excess or absence, or, lament its pollution praise its life-giving properties we can’t live long without it, and we can’t live with too much of it! In my little world I see what too little and too much can do – and I can see how wise watering can revitalize a barren lawn.
In Scripture water also is a powerful image of God’s Holy Spirit and His righteous wrath.
(See Isa 12:3; 35:6-7; 55:1; John 7:37-38; Hos. 5:10.) In my little world, I have seen how thirsty I become when I will not come and drink. And I see too many thirsty folks decline God’s offer of free refreshment. (Isaiah 55; 65:2-5)
But I have sadly seen myself spout out too many words – like that opened water hydrant. Thinking I was offering help I may only have created unnecessary puddles for others to ford. However, I know the blessed refreshment of words used wisely. “ . . . Reliable friends who do what they say are like cool drinks in sweltering heat — refreshing!” (Prov. 25:11-13 from THE MESSAGE)
Thank you all!
Hoping that you dear reader, and I will be refreshed in the word, by God’s Holy Spirit to refresh a thirsty world: . . . Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won't lose out on a thing." (Matt 10:41-42 from THE MESSAGE)
P.S. Yesterday we hit 105 degrees, but low humidity . . . It did not feel cooler for all the dryness.