Water :: a vital element for all known forms of life. Whether the fish in the sea that needs it to survive, or the kangaroo rat that can go 3-5 years without taking a sip of water, it’s a necessity.
The dictionary defines stagnant as follows:
Stag·nant adj. ::
1. Not moving or flowing; motionless.
2. Foul or stale from standing: stagnant ponds.
3. a. Showing little or no sign of activity or advancement; not developing or progressing; inactive: a stagnant economy.
b. Lacking vitality or briskness; sluggish or dull
When water has no flow, no cycle, it becomes stagnant. Water needs an exit point and an entrance point. A waterfall fills the stream, which pours into the lake, which then through means of rivers and creeks, finds its way to the ocean, where at that point or along the way evaporates into the air only to return to earth again through the rain. If water collects in an area that it can’t get out of, it loses momentum and eventually becomes stagnant. Stagnant water is useless. It is hazardous for drinking and can contain disease or harbor an environment for disease-ridden creatures to live.
In life, we can reach this point of stagnancy. Our lives get too full of the day-to-day that we are just coasting. Or we become wrapped up in sin so much that we live in darkness. Proverbs 25:26 says this, “Good people who don’t stand strong against evil are like springs that have been polluted or pools that have turned dirty and muddy.” Our stagnancy leads to a standstill in our spiritual growth. As nature portrays, that creates a hazardous environment. We then become useless. We are not helpful to those around us; we merely do more than take up space. What once had the great life-giving potential now threatens the life around it. God calls us into seasons of rest to restore us and to refresh us, but there is not a standstill. We evaporate. We give all of our substance to Him and, from there He then gives us the ability to again be life giving to those around us…like the rain.
We are called to give life to our environments. We are meant to enrich the places that we dwell and the lives of others that we encounter.
I, for one, have been stagnant for a while, coasting through my day-to-day routine. My job occupies my day. And even though I am productive, I still do not exude an attitude that my life holds more purpose. My evening is spent with my little boy, Jude and my wife, Alyse. While playing with him and talking with her, I still don’t embody the presence of full life. I really just take up space. That is not what I am called to do. That is not how we are called to exist. We are not meant to just exist and just “make it through the day.” God willing, there are many more days to be had and they can’t all be as meaningless as the day before. There has to be movement, there has to be flow and growth. That movement only comes from a willingness to do so and a heart that is listening for God to tell us where to go next. Jesus said in John 10:10, that He came to “give life – life that is full and good (or abundant.)” Abundant living does not come from stagnancy. Abundant living comes from embracing what you have each day, praying that there are more days to come, but living as if there weren’t.
Referring back to the cesspool of stagnant water, there is disease, decay and only potential for anti-life elements. Things can come from stagnant places, bacteria, mosquitoes, viruses, etc. It’s not to say that stagnant water does not produce, it just doesn’t produce anything good.
My stagnant daily life produced strain, discomfort, laziness, a lack of discipline, rough relationships and sin. No more! I want the Living water to flow through my cesspool and wash out the corruption that began to manifest. Not only will the garbage wash away, but my pool can become full to the point of overflowing, and that is how I can feed into the lives around me. My wife and my child can’t get anything from me if I’m not getting anything to start with. If I’m not being filled up, I can’t give. And what I have to give is not something they want to take. It wreaks and has a bitter taste.
Again in John, Jesus is speaking to the woman at Jacob’s well. Tired and thirsty from His travels, He asks the woman for a drink of water. She was taken back by His request, because their two nationalities had nothing to do with one another. He basically said to her, “You don’t know who it is you are talking to.” He says that He can offer living water that, whoever drinks it, would never be thirsty again. “The water I give people will be like a spring flowing inside them. It will bring eternal life.”
That is the water I want to be receiving in my life. Jesus living in us is the spring that keeps giving. It overflows us, if we let it. If we keep pursuing Him and keep tapping into that spring, there will always be more than enough. It causes an overflow and that spreads out to those around us. The only way we can be what our families and friends need is to be full. The only way to be full is to know Jesus. The only way to know Him is to believe He is who He says He is and read His Word.
I pray that when life gets busy and hard and monotonous, that I don’t become complacent, cold and callous. We only have so much time to leave such a little impression. Is our legacy going to be a motionless pond of decay that no one wants to be around, or is it going to be a majestic waterfall that people travel from all around just to see?
Written by Jason Krause (Amy’s bff’s hubby)