Thankful Thursday — Roadtrips and the Living Water
My husband and I just returned home from a two week road trip. We have done the same road trip for 12 years now.b Our destination is to visit my family who live approximately 2000 km away. One would think it would get old and boring, however we always discover something new and fun along the way. Often when I get home I will reflect on our experiences and today I am grateful for the reminders of “living water”.
In order to make our trip fun and relaxing we go a more scenic route that adds an additional day to our driving. We usually leave around 8:00 am on a Saturday morning and arrive at my parents cabin around 11:00 pm on the Monday evening. There are quicker routes to take, however we make the drive a part of our vacation that we look forward to and not just something we dread.
Road trips are a time where we can slow down our brains and enjoy the ride. Too often we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our day to day activities. We have demands made upon us from others as well as from ourselves. The truth is — we all need a break and often we have to be the one who chooses to take it.
One of my favorite parts of our drive is driving beside various bodies of water. I find water to be very soothing and relaxing. It amazes me the different colors that are in the bodies of water and it makes me smile when I get to watch the ripples and the waves.
When I am near large bodies of water, I often reflect on God and the vast love that He has for His children. He uses the water to refresh me and it helps me to replenish and refocus. It also reminds me that He is the “living water”.
He is the Living Water
Confession time — I was dried up and I didn’t realize it. Too often in my Christian walk I have been dried up. I was thirsty and was drinking from the wrong fountains. The truth is I was thirsty because I had been drinking out of the wrong fountains. Thank you Lord that You have recognized it and have shown me the light in Your truth. When I am mindful that You are the “Living Water” I have purpose and I have hope and freedom. When I am focused on all the other fountains in my life – I feel heavy and bound up.
John 4:14 – AMP
“But whoever drinks the water that I give him will never be thirsty again. But the water that I give him will become in him a spring of water [satisfying his thirst for God] welling up [continually flowing, bubbling within him] to eternal life.”
Drinking Contaminated Water = Illness and Death
There are too many people lacking victory in their lives due to drinking out of the wrong fountains. There are times that I myself find I am not drinking from the “living water” but from contaminated sources. Anything that we put ahead of God in our lives is a contaminated source. As I reflect on this, I come to realize that I have drank from the following fountains and thus ignored the “living water”:
~~ During times in our marriage I have sought his opinion and his validation before God’s. I have had expectations of specific ways I wanted to be loved. This has caused us strife in our marriage as I have looked to my husband to fill needs that only God can fill.
In order to have a healthy marriage it is vital that I keep God first and release my husband from the expectation of filling my needs that only God is able to fill.
~~ I left my career of plus 20 years approximately 3 months ago. It was one of the hardest decisions that I have had to make in a very long time. Even when I knew that God was leading me, I sadly ignored the beginning nudges. My identity was too caught up in my “job”. I thought I had purpose and I had people around me that loved me. Without the “job” who was I going to be? I tried to ignore the heaviness that I felt when going to work. It was hard to hold my tongue when I was witness to others being mistreated and I tried to move through the hurt that I felt in my heart from being bullied.
Things had to get quite bad before I was able to make a life altering decision. Taking a leave from work for a couple of months and spending oodles of time with the Lord, I realized that I was indeed drinking from the wrong fountain and that the “Living Water” would be sufficient for me. Thank you Jesus, for the mess that led me to be blessed, healed and free.
~~ Throughout my life I have cared way too much about what others think of me. The funny thing is, most people aren’t even thinking about me. My brain will get stuck on the “what if’s” and the “should of’s”. It will remind me of all the mistakes that I have made and will replay the memories of past events, decisions, and behaviors which has led to regrets. My insecurities scream loudly at times and tell me that I am ugly, rejected and unloved. It tries to get me to a place of shame and condemnation. This has caused havoc in my relationships with friends and family. Insecurities have attempted to kill my hopes and my dreams. Clearly this is not the fountain that I need to be drinking from.
The fountain of the “living water” reminds me to seek Him first. I am reminded that I must renew my mind daily and cast down the lies. One of the ways that I do this is by reading the scriptures that I have tucked into my heart. The Bible is full of God’s amazing promises and it is vital that I take the time to study it and get it into my heart. It is through the scriptures that my insecurities die as God tells me that I am loved, accepted and forgiven. It clearly encourages me to continue to press forward into all the dreams that God has given me.
~~ When I am full of fear I am immobilized. Drinking from the fountain of fear leads me to complacency. When I am complacent, I feel empty and heavy. It is easy to dwell on our fears and feed them . We all have people in our lives that we know will enable us and pacify us. Fear is an enemy to my soul and the only way that I know to combat it is by doing things afraid.
The word of God tells me repeatedly to not be afraid and that the Lord is always with me. It is reasurring to know that I don’t walk this journey alone. I often will remind myself that God hasn’t dropped me on my head yet and He continues to lead me through all fear. I am so grateful that God has patience and that He loves me enough to correct me and reassure me.
My Flesh — Laziness, Selfishness and Attitude
~~ It is so easy to drink out of the fountain of my very own flesh.
Sometimes I am lazy and I don’t want to do what I know the Lord is wanting me to do. I want to sleep and I tell myself that I will spend time with the Lord later in the day. Ummmm that usually doesn’t happen as there are too many things distracting me from my quiet time with God. I know that I should be cleaning the house or getting some writing done, but I will read one more page in my novel. Ugh! Drinking out of the laziness fountain leads me to stress and it plays havoc in my relationships with others as well as with my relationship with myself and God.
There are times when I seek me and my ways first and ignore God and His ways. Ouch! I then wonder why I have chaos in my life or why I feel empty or unsettled. Selfishness impacts my relationship with God, others as well as with myself.
There are times that my attitude stinks. I am grateful for a forgiving God and husband in these times. I get to choose my attitude and truthfully I don’t always choose wisely. When I have a negative attitude it is a result of negative thinking and self pity. It can be a very lonely place — after all who wants to be around a negative, grouchy full of self-pity person!?
Dying To Self
The Bible introduced me to the concept of “dying to self”. Dying to self means that my old ways of living must be cast aside in order to follow God’s ways. It means that I no longer drive my bus (I am always crashing it) and I step aside and allow God to drive. To die to self means that I set aside what I want and focus on what God wants.
Power in Living Water
During our road trip we were able to stop and experience the power of rushing water. It reminded me of the power that the “Living Water” has in my life.
The fact to remember is, I can only source the power if I am connected to the source. I am thankful that God is teaching me to stay connected to Him. It makes my heart happy knowing that He can use a simple road trip to teach me more about myself, Him and His desires for my life.
What is God’s Word Saying To Me Today?
“And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].” — Romans 12:2 AMP
“For My people have committed two evils: They have abandoned (rejected) Me, The fountain of living water, And they have carved out their own cisterns, Broken cisterns That cannot hold water”. — Jeremiah 2:13 AMP
” As the deer pants [longingly] for the water brooks, So my soul pants [longingly] for You, O God. My soul (my life, my inner self) thirsts for God, for the living God.” — Psalm 42:1-2 AMP
“Therefore there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are in Christ Jesus [who believe in Him as personal Lord and Savior].” — Romans 8:1 AMP
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit [through factional motives, or strife], but with [an attitude of] humility [being neither arrogant nor self-righteous], regard others as more important than yourselves. Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” — Philippians 2:3-4 AMP
“He who believes in Me [who adheres to, trusts in and relies on Me], as the Scripture has said,From his innermost being will flow continually rivers of living water.” — John 7:38 AMP
What fountains have you been drinking from? Are you experiencing the power found in the Living Water?
I would love to hear from you.