Spring has sprung here in western North Carolina! The buds are bursting open and each day I look forward to seeing which flower has bloomed. It also means cleaning up from winter’s effects – the dead stalks of last year’s flowers, leaves that avoided fall’s leaf raking, and weeds that seem to push up first in their effort to take over.
We have had abundant rain this spring so the little branch that runs through the yard is flowing swiftly. The pipe that carries the water to three little pools by the garden was barely flowing, so Saturday my husband set out to fix it. He ended up digging down to the buried pipe and discovered a leak. He also discovered that the pipe was plugged with a tangle of roots about six feet long. It was such a dense mess that it is surprising that any water at all made it through. He pulled out the roots, patched the leak, and soon the water was flowing clear and free.
It reminded me of times when our children were small that I felt completely drained. Just like those tangled up roots, I was so caught up in the cares of life that I felt like all the life had drained out of me. Nothing could get in – so nothing could flow out. I was plugged up!! Now I am by nature a people person. But at this point I felt that if another person asked me to watch their child, fix a meal, or sell ___for a fundraiser, I WOULD SCREAM!!! I had nothing left to give my own children, much less anyone else’s. I was completely drained. What was wrong? I was a mother committed to the well-being of my children, why did I feel this lifeless, empty feeling?
John 7:37-40 (NIV)
37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
I believe the problem developed because I was trying to do it all myself. There were several things I needed to do to “refill” my dry and lifeless spirit.
- Allow the Holy Spirit to flow through me. For water to flow out of a pond or lake, water must flow in first to cause the overflow. If there is no flow, the water will become stagnant. I must refresh my Spirit with God’s Word, worship, and fellowship to prevent spiritual stagnation. Then “rivers of living water will flow from within me!”
- Allow others to help me. That may mean humbling myself and admitting I can’t do it all. It may mean going to a counselor or doctor for treatment.
- Prioritize my responsibilities so that when I feel drained, I know what is MOST important – and I do that first (and maybe nothing else.)
- Remember that there will be seasons of feeling drained, suffering, trials, etc. Yet I don’t need to stay there.
The following prayer that Paul prayed for the Christians in Ephesus is a beautiful expression of the Father’s love for us and His desire that we experience that love.
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.