Tuesday, August 31, 2010
This post is written by a friend, Paula at "Along a Narrow Way". I wanted to share it with you because I am convinced the Lord is clearly speaking through Paula; and I thought this one would speak to your heart, as it has mine. Give Paula a visit at http://alonganarrowway.blogspot.com/2010/08/churning-part-1.html She has many other Godly inspired messages. Enjoy ... Bob
For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. - John 5:2
I have always loved this particular image - the picture of the angel of the Lord reaching down and quite literally stirring things up on behalf of the people who were in need. It's such a wonderful reminder that God is always willing to actively involve himself in the circumstances of our lives in order to see us blessed. He has never once forgotten the work that needs to be completed, the promises that need to be fulfilled, or the wounds that need to be healed in our lives.
But recently I've been spending time meditating on what that image really entails. Because while the mental picture of of an angel stirring up a pool is very pretty in theory, the actual experience that we go through when the waters of our lives begin to swirl around us can be a completely unsettling and uncomfortable experience. I know that there have been so many times when I have found myself in the midst of what felt like a chaotic swirl, where suddenly everything was up in the air and stability seemed like a thing of the past. At times like that it can be easy to look around and wonder why God would let things get to such a point.
After all, when the waters are still things are much easier. There is a certain comfort in knowing that things will be the same tomorrow as they were today. There's a security and peace that comes with the familiar. Still waters are calm waters, and who doesn't want smooth sailing? But when things get stirred up, when everything around us becomes uprooted and starts to change, it can be a frightening experience. So why would God do that to us? Why are his answers so often worked out in the midst of a swirl of uncertainty?
One of the first things that God showed me when I asked him about this was that churning waters will bring to the surface things that may have settled to the bottom. A lot of times we allow old issues, habits, wounds, or fears to remain in our lives because they are no longer in the forefront of our minds and hearts. They're still there, but we don't see or feel them every day, and it can be very easy to ignore them. But even though we aren't dealing with these issues on a day-to-day basis, they're still there underneath the surface.
I know that there were many issues in my life that I spent years ignoring no matter how long God tried to speak to me about changing them. He would speak to me about something that I needed to correct, and I would think "Oh, I'm not that bad. That's hardly an problem for me anymore." It's not that I didn't want to deal with them, but they were no longer on the surface of my life, and so I was able to pretend they weren't there. But God doesn't want us to be half-healed or kind-of-restored. He wants to finish the work he began in us! And sometimes the only way he can get us to deal with the mud and sludge in the background of our lives is to bring it back to the surface!
It all came to a head for me one day when I found myself acting like a nasty jerk because someone else was getting on my nerves. I sat back and thought: "I'm not normally like this! Why is it that when someone's bothering me I act like a completely different person?" What God showed me was that the other person's actions weren't causing me to do anything that wasn't already in me to do. They were merely stirring the pot a little bit, and as a result, all of these behaviors that I thought I'd dealt with were coming back to the surface. What he told me was that I needed to allow him to remove them from my life once and for all. I asked "How will I know when it's done?" and he told me I would know I was free of all of those old issues when no amount of aggravation could bring them out of me any more.
The process wasn't easy. It took time, it was uncomfortable, and it seemed like every day I was faced with another situation that churned up the waters. But I recognized the hand of God in what was happening, and when I came out the other side, I was a different person. God had stirred up the waters in my life, and as a result I was made well. http://alonganarrowway.blogspot.com/2010/08/churning-part-1.html
I think this post is a great example of what happens when a believer meditates on the Word. God will often say things to them that are profound. Things that you or I might not have remotely considered. They are unique to the individual believer, but clearly true for all of us to learn and grow from. Why don't we all meditate on God's Word, every day? He has commanded us and given us promises, if we do or don't. Meditate on the Word, my friends. God may well have plans for you, or I ... to be the next Joshua. One thing we can be sure of ... there is a lot of churning that needs to be done.
Joshua 1:8-9 “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
God Bless you my friends, Bob