Been thinking about levees today and the devastation which can be created by the failure of such protective structures. Years back I flew over Missouri after a series of storms caused a flooding of the Mississippi river. From an aerial perspective this looked to be quite the mess, with water flowing in places man didn’t plan. Major news stories for months.
Now years later I am drawn back to that mind’s eye picture and what it really means to me for my here and now. Occasionally I need my friends and family around to shore me up when I’m going through my own storms. I love the wisdom in how He has surrounded me with those who will speak out when it’s good to have limits and when it’s okay to let the rivers flow.
By limits I mean my own control mechanisms. I am certainly a river of life meant to flow without hindrance, but there are times when it’s good to have boundaries so I don’t trample those around me with my thoughts and opinions. I am only meant to flow alongside their banks, softly eroding any harsh walls of protection.
At other times I am not meant to hold back the fullness of my love and truth; instead I am meant to let what is in me overflow with its entirety and power. The rushing waters of promise will flood their dry lands with life giving water despite it looking like a mess to the natural eye.
John 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him
I had been glued to my computers for a while taking care of some geek stuff when it hit me yesterday, “enough”! I had three screens on my desk with each doing a different function and my desk was in disarray from it all. It was time to take a break and go get some fresh air. My husband had made plans for some photography and so I agreed to go with him to the park for a couple hours.
As I watched a ball game, a sense of well being came to me. I enjoyed watching the people before me as they laughed and played together. A joy was within all and as unity reigned, even more joy was being released. It was tangible.
Looking up into the sky I could see birds come and fly over the park and even circle in the air above on winds I could not see with my eyes. It was as if they were floating on the winds of joy I was witnessing.
He sat on the park’s cement wall looking down at me and my friend asking question after question. He had sought us out because he said he wanted what we had; joy and laughter. He wanted the hope we carried with us and his hunger was ravenous. It had been a while since I had met someone so hungry for truth and love.
As much as he was asking us questions, we tried to ask some back. Did he have any dreams, passions, desires to do something special? It didn’t take long to get a picture of a lie at work in his soul. He had been shut down by family members and his own mistakes and failures. He hated that he’d sometimes smoke weed to feel better, to numb the pain; an all too familiar tale.
Every time we shared the truth of what we could have here and now but also for eternity, he would grin wide. At one point he stopped talking for a moment while he tried to understand a concept which seemed new to him. With a huge grin he asked, “You mean we can double dip? Like have it good here and have it good there too?” When we started laughing and nodding, “yes, yes”, he grinned even bigger than before.
A precious seed of hope could be seen growing quickly in him that afternoon. I look forward to seeing it come to fruition, both here and in eternity.
I was in freedom but as I walked on the grass my eyes looked into the distance. Not all that far away I could see watchtowers and below was barbed wire fencing. A prison was near and my heart ached for those behind it’s locked down doors.
A reminder came to my heart about the days I too was imprisoned. Not in the physical sense but locked down by lies from a past riddled with tragedies and mistakes. One by one each of those lies has been exposed to the light of the truth and I no longer carry chains everywhere I go.
Oh that all could walk in the freedom of truth. This is the reality of our heavenly Father’s heart. His love will set all free who desire to be so.
Gal 5:1a It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…