Friday, September 3, 2010

Churning part 2

Part 2 from Paula at "Along a Narrow Way". I wanted to share it with you because I had a very positive response on Churning part 1. Enjoy ... Bob

Earlier this week I posted about what it means when God begins to stir the waters in our lives. I wrote specifically about what God showed me about churning process, and how it will bring back to the surface things that we had allowed to settle so that he can remove them from our lives once and for all.

But that is certainly not the only reason that God stirs up the waters around us. He also reminded me that moving water moves us and moving water brings life! He brought me to the book of Ezekiel when the angel of the Lord showed him the river of God flowing from the temple, and one particular passage stood out to me:

"Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes ... But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt." - Ezekiel 47:8-9, 11

This verse speaks about the life that be found in the flowing waters, a life that heals the water of the sea, a life that draws as supports a great multitude of fish. But it also says that in the stagnant places - the marshes and swamps - that healing isn't found. Why? Because healing involves change, and change cannot take place in a pool of stagnant water. In fact, when water does not move, when it is not constantly flowing it becomes a breeding ground for disease and decay. That's certainly not what I want for my life, and I know that it's not what God wants for us either!

So often we ask God to change things for us - change our lives, change our hearts, change our circumstances. Why is it, then, that we get so upset when things around us begin to move? Without movement, where will the change come from? Imagine for a moment that you are standing in chest deep water and you want to reach a destination a mile away. What options do you have? If the water is still you can try to walk through it, which is a slow, labor filled, and exhausting process. You could pick up your feet and swim ... it's certainly faster than walking, but again it requires that you do all the work. But if the water is moving ... if there is a current, you don't have to do anything at all. Pick up your feet and the river will bring you where you want to go!

God stirs the waters to move us along! But so often we fail to recognize his hand in what is happening. We see the waters churning and we become afraid. We take our stance, plant our feet and think "I have to survive this. God please help me survive it!" Have you ever tried standing still in the midst of a strong current? It's HARD! But God doesn't stir the water to test our strength ... he doesn't want us to try to stand against it at all. He wants us to recognize that he is the one who is stirring the waters because he wants to move us from the place we've been to a different (and better) place. It is his hand that guides us, his wing that shelters us, and his plan that will move us, if only we will get out of our own way! All we have to do is let go of our fear, stop trying to control our own lives, pick up our feet, and allow God to carry us to somewhere new. And the best part is that if we can do that, if we submit to the flow and give up control we will find ourselves healed along the way.

So don't get stuck in stagnation. When the waters of your life begin to move, when everything seems impossibly uprooted and things begin to swirl out of your control don't be discouraged. Know that God is on the move. He is right there in the midst of the storm, and he is orchestrating all that you are going through to remove those things that don't belong in your life, to carry you to new places, and to create an ending that will bless your life and bring Him glory!

God bless you my friends, Bob

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