So in the office that I share with Scott, our DCE, I have a collection of butane lighters and bottled water scattered across my desk for no reason what-so-ever. Being the curious and absent minded 3-year-old adult that I am…I often combine these two for exciting, but not-so-intelligent experiments.
In the past 3 weeks, I’ve toasted marshmallows, forced Peeps to joust, fried my Pringles, and failed countless times at burning a hole through my Aquafinas. As I spent both a few minutes and a few ounces of butane trying to force these plastic bottles full of H2O to do my bidding and burst, I remembered back a few years to the glory days of Boy Scout adventures.
On one of our campouts, we were challenged with the task of practicing wilderness survival for 3 days. For food, we were given a bottled water, an egg, a piece of bread, and some matches each day. What we soon discovered was that these bottles wouldn’t burn as long as there was water pressing up against the plastic coating. So, we improvised and drank three quarters of the bottle between meals, then cut the tops off our bottles, placed the egg in the water, started a small fire and cooked hard boiled eggs over the flames…which was far more satisfying than slurping down a raw egg each meal.
Sure enough, the same has proven true with my armory of lighters and small cache of Aquafinas…
And interestingly enough, brothers and sisters, the same is true for you and I when it comes to our innate relationship in Christ through the spirit planted in us.
Christ says that he has come to offer to us living water, that which will never let us go thirsty again. This water fills us and consumes us as the baptism of the Holy Spirit crashes into our lives, our bodies, our minds and our hearts. It becomes the rock through which our faith stands. This spirit, this living water…this is the reason that you and I, although we may face trials, temptations and flames; we will not be destroyed, for the one who has settled himself within us, is far greater than the one who is in the world.
Our flesh, our plastic coating, our exterior…these do not have the power to withstand the flames of tribulation and purification in this world…for they are given their power and defense only through the living water and spirit that fall against it.
You may not feel very spiritual…very Christian…very ‘religious’…you may not always feel so ‘full’ of love, mercy, compassion or self-control. But understand that because of this truth at work, it doesn’t really matter…and that this God has himself, decided to drench you and I in living water…for it to fill every crevasse, nook and cranny of our entire being…that it doesn’t matter how ‘spiritual’ you may feel for the spirit to be actively present, and welling up within you…This is the promise of this Christ…He is your power and your rock…and He is actively suffering with you, despite how weak, fragile and thin you may feel or appear in this life.
So may you and I humble ourselves before our great God. Understanding intimately, who we are, from where we’ve come, and to whom we have been called. May we learn to seek defense, dependence and support through this living water, and may we come to see the reality in Christ, that it is he who keeps us, who defends us, who sustains us…and not anything welling up from within our own power.