Holding Water

There are all sorts of places we can go with this title.

From dealing with those who think Christianity doesn't. To the whole "God uses cracked vessels" idiom. What about water retention? Which, by the way, if you're not pregnant is not a good sign. Water retention in a body that's not pregnant could be a sign of some sort of kidney dysfunction. Not fun.

"He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his (and her) belly shall flow rivers of living water." (John 7:38)

Jesus says something similar to the woman at the well in Samaria. "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water." (John 4:10)

Whenever we speak to someone, "Doth not the ear try words?" (Job 12:11) What Job is saying here is that people listen for something deeper than the words that you're speaking. They want honesty, sure. But what they really want is truth. "Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of Thy waterspouts..." (Psalm 42:7) I wouldn't be so obsessed with the concept of truth if I didn't see the thread of "truth" running so rampantly throughout the Bible. Jesus says that He is "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6, emphasis mine). If I believe on and in Jesus, as He asks (see Mark 5:36), then I should have some consideration for the concept, let alone the ideal of truth. And if I then choose to believe and be labelled as a "Christian", then anyone I'd choose to influence through my evangelization (for lack of a better word) is going to take what they hear—maybe dismiss the words—but feel my enthusiasm and sincerity and genuineness. Or lack thereof. It'll resonate with them because the Holy Spirit witnesses to truth, ladies and gentlemen. And if I'm not truly believing and subsequently living it out, what I say ain't gonna hold water. Let alone have any water to hold.

And this is the whole point of living as a Christian. You get this desire, this drive to tell everyone what you've found in Jesus. You want people to know and meet the God that introduced Himself to you in such a dramatic way. This newfound fervor is certainly part of the "rivers of living water" allusion which Jesus mentioned in John, chapter 7. But it's more than that. One of God's names is "El Shaddai" which is translated from Hebrew as "the God who is more than enough". What God gives you, be it peace, joy, prosperity, health, hope or any number of other otherworldly qualities, begs to be shared.

You may have heard the old homily about how even though we might be a dry, cracked, leaky vessel, said vessel (us, mistakes and all) necessarily spills the content which it was designed to hold. This is good, this is true. And this is why when Paul says "be filled with the Spirit" in Ephesians (5:18, emphasis mine), it's understood that we are in constant need of the Holy Spirit to fill us and fill us and refill us. Because if we are always giving out, even though our testiony "holds water", we are not the source. And we're not meant to keep it in, either.

Water retention happens for many reasons. When a person's kidneys shut down, they stop filtering fluid out through the urinary tract and therefore the body will retain any fluid they've imbibed. It usually pools in the ankles and feet. Our system is not meant to retain fluids. By the same token, unforgiveness will keep the Holy Spirit from flowing through us. As the kidneys are to our body, so too, does forgiveness filter out the harmful and destructive emotions and feelings and actions that would stop the flow of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In Psalm 73, Asaph spends the first fifteen verses complaining about "foolish" and "wicked" people (verse 3). It's evident that he's more than a little fed up with the state of society, at least his corner of it. Then in verse sixteen, he has a semi-epiphany. He says "When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me." He continues on in verse twenty-one: "Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins." This may sound odd, but the literal translation of "pricked in my reins" is pierced, or stabbed in my kidneys. That's pretty serious. The Holy Spirit will wash us clean as we search out the impurities of sin and selfishness and forgive anyone involved, ourselves included. Forgiveness is what allows Him to flow again.

But if you're pregnant, maybe you need to hold a little extra water? I mean, you're carrying someone else around with you, so don't worry about it. Water retention in that case is normal, expected even. And until your water breaks, just go with the flow.

"My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you." (Galatians 4:19)

Making It Rain

Tummy Aches (Childish Things part 3)