Filling Our Pools
by Kristen Schiffman
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“You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.”
My grandparents had a tremendous underground swimming pool put into their backyard when I was about 11 or 12. My brothers, cousins and I were thrilled beyond words. We would trek our so very (thought we were so cool) little selves to their house to watch the building of this new phenomenon. We would daydream about what it was going to be like to grow up with a pool this size at our favorite place: The Grandparents. It truly was our hot spot. We were always there and this pool just added an even better excuse for all of us to hang out.
The construction of the pool seemed to take forever but finally it was finished! Ta-da! Actually it was technically construction complete yet still lacking one major ingredient: some H20! My grandmother got the hose and began to fill the pool. The whole group of grandchildren were there that day and we wanted to go in like, 5 minutes ago! My Grandma took one look at us and said, “Ok.” And so, we slid into an empty pool. The water was trickling down into the deep end and we sat there trying to figure out what we should do. I mean, what could we do, the pool was empty! Somehow we got into our heads that it would be cool to use this one chance to slide down the divider of the shallow and deeper ends of the pool. We didn’t quite think that plan through because more than two of us were stuck down in the deep end for what seemed to be an eternity. By the end of the day we had all voted: pools without water are not too fun.
Oh, but when that pool was overflowing with water...man, did we have a blast! We had swimming contests, Marco-Polo show downs, float festivals in the water, summer sleepovers with late night swimming. That pool was our meeting spot, our hangout and our club quarters. The memories will not be forgotten – for it was in the overflow of that water that we were given our most treasured possession: one another.
And as I sit here today I remember well the finished product. The laughter, the BBQ’s, the whole lot of each summer…but I also remember well that empty pool and how easy it was to slide down and face the struggle of getting back up.
Today I believe the Lord wants our hearts focused on this simple truth: Without Him we are still stuck at the bottom of the pool. He is the overflow into our lives. I love the way Psalm 65:9-13 (posted above) paints the picture of our Hydrating God. He enriches us abundantly! Another verse where overflow always captures my heart is Romans 5:15. “But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!”
This verse reminds me of my pool experience. For a while I was stuck at the bottom of that pool wondering how I was ever going to get back up to the place where I belonged. And with some teamwork I made it. It is the same for those of us in Christ Jesus. We were once sinners stuck in a dead-end, dried out rut. But now, Jesus Christ overflow to the many, has touched our lives and we are back where we belong, thirsts quenched and needs met.
But we do not forget where we have been.
This is why we are so thankful for the ransoming sacrifice.
This is why we pledge to obey and go where He goes.
Be the path He leads us on marked with pain and suffering or joy and laughter.
We follow hard.
Blessed in the overflow of Christ.
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