On Monday morning, I took some time to be away and be alone with God. These are always special times for me as I listen to what God is doing in my life and around me. It also affords me the opportunity to once again offer myself to God and pledge to grow in my relationship with Him moving forward.
I always know that God is going to reveal something about my life or what is going on around me. He didn't disappoint this time either.
I walked out into the woods by a stream. I love being by streams. I love listening to the water trickle. I enjoy watching the water move. I always seem to come alive when I am by a stream.
When I am by streams, I am usually reminded of Jesus’ words in John 7:37-38, "If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" He tells us afterwards that the living water is the Holy Spirit.
Immediately I began to pray these words again, asking that God would give me a deeper thirst for Him. I begged for God to give me more of His Holy Spirit so that I could be more like Jesus and worship Him more in all my life.
It was then that I noticed that the stream was blocked in many places by debris and leaves. The stream moved but it wasn't flowing well.
These are life-giving moments for me. They are times when I come alive as I play like a little kid. I knelt by the stream and I cleared the debris. I didn’t care that I got wet and dirty, I was alive and at work and play with God. I then watched with joy and satisfaction as the water begin to flow faster, at first murky but then clear.
As I watched the stream flow, God began to speak to me more. He prompted me to ask a question, “Is there debris in my life that is blocking the life-giving waters of the Holy Spirit?”
After some reflection, I noticed that the blockages came from two sources. Some of the blockages were of my own doing and some were done to me. I sat on a rock and processed with God, yearning for Him to do a deep cleaning work in me so that I could have more of Him.
I was about to get up when God nudged me as He went deeper with another question. “Deryk, are there blockages in your life that are hindering my life-giving Spirit from flowing through you to others?”
This one hit me like a dagger. I wished He hadn’t asked me that question. The first one was hard enough. I began to think of my family, neighbors and my church family. As God gently revealed the blockages, I mourned the fact that there were things in my life that made it hard for God to work through me to others.
But God didn’t want me to stop there. He asked me another question, “Are there leaves and debris in our church community that God wants us to remove so that His life-giving water can flow to us and through us to others?”
I am still working on that one.