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Stagnant Waters
by Mary Elder-Criss
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Stagnant Waters
by: Mary Criss

Blink. blink. blink. The flashing cursor on my screen taunts me. Mockingly, it glares at me, on and off, blink, blink...knowing that the words in my head, the feelings I am undergoing, long to be put down on “paper” so that they can be expressed, shared, in order to actually make sense of them. I pour over my Bible, hoping that the something hidden might be found, wondering what it is that I am searching for. I feel incomplete, I am frustrated, almost as if I am in some kind of vacuum, a black hole of sorts in my mind that I have stumbled into. I call out to God, yet the only thing I hear is the echo of my own voice. God seems to be nowhere close by, or at least not taking my calls today. I am blocking the Holy Spirit for some reason, yet the reason is not clear. Everything seems to be blurred lately, distorted, nothing makes much sense. I don’t seem to be able to concentrate well, and my vision is clouded. Not my physical vision, but my spiritual. I turn in circles, chasing the elusiveness of what God is trying to tell me...all the familiar places I can usually turn to somehow seem foreign and strange, they hold no clues. I open my Bible, I pull up documents and I sit and stare. A thousand possible things to write about flit through my mind like fireflies on a summer night, yet as quickly as they appear, they vanish. None of them stay long enough to actually produce a light worth holding on to. I look past my computer, out the window at the sky and I search among the heavens for a clue as to where God is leading me....trying to find Him, asking .....”Why is it always so difficult God?” Why must I constantly search for the answers to questions I haven’t even asked. “Why God?” “Why can’t you just write it across the sky for once in an easily understandable vapor trail, as if from a plume from a plane?”

Mule Puke. I come back and I sit at my computer, and I start to write. I look at the screen after a couple of paragraphs, and that’s what I see. Mule Puke. Mule Puke is what I write when the Holy Spirit is not in it. I think and I think, and I ask myself.....”WHY?” “God, are you taking away the very gift that you gave me?” “ Why would you do that?” “I thought You longed to use me in this way to reach others for You.” Frustration levels reach a new point. I exit Word because even the name of the program mocks me. Word. Oh, that I would have a Word.

Most people that know me know my passion for writing. It is almost life to me. To be able to sit at the keyboard after reading God’s word, or hearing God’s word, and be able to impart some revelation, to share some knowledge that He has given me, in order to encourage, or uplift, even to challenge someone, is a very important part of my life. I have written for years. Sometimes the words flow, sometimes they don’t. I have generally found that when the words start flowing well, it is almost always because of God’s hand upon me as I write. If I sit down and begin to work without the Presence of God, well, it’s usually not worth reading. I read a quote once that truly summed up what I believe all writers must feel at one time or another. I have been hesitant to use this quote before because I was afraid that I may offend someone with the comparison that the author uses as in the drops of blood, however I truly believe that there is a message within this piece which clearly illimunates that frustration.

"Writing is easy: all you do is sit staring at the blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead." ---Gene Fowler

I have got to admit, there have been times that I truly have felt that there should be drops of blood on my forehead. As many of you know, a writer’s block is not a pleasant experience when you are usually able to easily impart through words, and the usage of them, what the Lord has for you to share.

When I suffer from this condition though, I have discovered that 90% of the time the reason the words are not flowing is due to the fact that I myself had become stagnant. I had forgotten to refresh myself at the Living Waters.

1 a : not flowing in a current or stream
b : STALE 2 : not advancing or developing

Not flowing; not advancing or developing. Long disuse had made me stale. I was sitting still, not moving forward. When we, as Christians get to a place of not moving, not growing, not advancing or developing the gifts or the talents that the Lord has given us to be used for His glory, then we do become stagnant. Stagnant waters have a foul odor. Stagnant souls have a foul outlook.

I read this quote recently on a Christian message board. “If we could forget our troubles as easy as we forget our blessings how different life would be.” How true is this? We focus so much on our troubles, our selves, what we are going through, that we forget the one that truly blesses us with what we do have, and we forget the blessing of being His to begin with.

Let me share something else. It’s not new, but it is true, and it is worthy of repeating. “There is never a place that the Lord leads you to that He will not lead you through.” That about sums it up, I think. Let’s look at that again. There is NEVER a place that the Lord Leads you TO, that HE will not lead you THROUGH. If you feel you are in a spiritual desert right now, and all you see around you is stagnated water, it most likely is not the water that has become stagnant but you, yourself. I have good news for you however. Christ is the Living Water.

Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. John 13, 14

On that last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." John 7:37,38

Stagnant souls have a foul outlook. I believe if out of this writing nothing stands out other than this one word, there is a message for someone in it. If your soul has become stagnant, if your living waters deep inside are not flowing, not moving,then you do have a tendency to develop a stale and foul outlook upon life. I know these things to be true, for I have lived through them recently. We turn cynical. When our prayers are not answered in the way that we expect them to be answered, in the time frame that we have given God to move, then we fall back on doubt, and forget about true faith. We become like the woman that prayed for the mountain in her back yard to be moved.

Don’t know that story? Let me share it. An old woman had a mountain right at her back yard. It blocked her view of the sun. It was a sight she was tired of staring at. She read in the Bible, Matthew 17:20 "I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." The woman prays before going to bed one night that the mountain would move. She wakes up the next morning, looks out the window, sees the mountain. Her response? "I knew it wouldn’t move." Foul outlook.

Jesus was telling His disciples how to move a mountain. We have a measure of faith. It is resident in us. (Romans 12:3) It comes alive by hearing the word of God. (Romans 10:17) God tells us to apply our faith to see our daily needs met. You sow that mustard seed of faith into an action of love. (Matt 17:20) When your faith has been planted and growing, you speak to your mountain and watch God set about its removal.

This woman was stagnant and not growing in her walk. She prayed not in faith, and she disbelieved that God could move that mountain. Faith that appears small or weak to us still can accomplish the humanly impossible. This mountain was a figure for an obstacle, hindrance, or humanly insurmountable problem—none of which is impossible for God to deal with through committed people who accurately understand their authority and know His power, will, purposes, and provision. (NKJV Spirit Filled Life Study Notes)

Lord, it is my prayer today that you might touch the hearts that have grown stagnant. Lord, stir up that living water within each of us so that we might be pure and holy, and move once again for you. Refresh and restore that which has grown stale. Let us see that what we view as a small or weak amount of faith can still move mountains today for nothing is impossible with you. Let us desire more than just a sip of that living water, let us guzzle deeply from it. Touch us and use us today. In your Holy name I pray. Amen

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joyce Poet 09 Sep 2004
Mary, just recently the Lord came to me in a dream... He actually said, "Dig trenches from one source of water that I lead you to, to the next source until the water starts to move." I've been digging away in the Word. And I've been digging away at FaithWriters. And what should I come across? 'Stagnant Waters' by yourself... and apparently by the Holy Spirit. My, you have certainly stirred up something in me... to get up out of the spiritually stagnant mess and get after it! I just could not have read this at more perfect time. Thank you!
04 Mar 2003
I read this article the day you posted it and had to return and read it again. Great work! So very accurate. Thanks for sharing so openlyl!
Lovia Larkin 02 Mar 2003
WOW - just what I needed. Thank you so much! God Bless.


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