He is the stream of Living Water

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Everything that comes through my life is like a drop of rain.

The river that flows from You to me and back out to others is a continual stream.  Just like I learned in 7thgrade Geography, that same rain drop can be reproduced countless times over and over and over again, from the cloud, landing in the stream, evaporating back into the atmosphere, and back to the cloud…

Whether it’s a job, a friendship, a house, a car, a pet….it doesn’t matter.  It all falls under the same principle.  That one thing–whatever it is–is given to me as a gift, as a blessing, from You, for that moment in time.  If You decide to keep it in my life, You will keep recycling it back through that stream, that river that flows continually from You to me, and back out to the world.  I don’t have to do a thing–except thank You for it.

The problem comes when I try to reach out in my flesh and grab a hold of something that You have given me, and hold it so tightly that it doesn’t leave my life.  Due to pride, due to insecurity, due to a range of emotions that infiltrate my daily life–I end up, like a beaver at a river, clogging the natural flow of the stream of Love that You are pouring through my heart.

When I reach out and grasp for that one thing, I end up instead grabbing a huge chunk of tree bark.  Oh, I think I have a hold of that one thing–whatever it is–but in reality it’s just a lousy chunk of dead wood.  But I’m hanging onto it with all my might.  I am not about to let it get away, due to my selfishness, my insecurities, my self-righteousness and pride.

I want to hold it close to me.  Because I’m afraid to trust You.  I’m afraid that You won’t bring it back to me if I let it go.  (In reality, that thing–that one tiny drop of water is long gone downstream–and it’s about to evaporate back out into the world again, and be absorbed into the clouds above again.  If it comes back to me is really not up to me.  It’s up to You if You decide to let it pour back through me and bless me again.

Maybe it’s living in this dry Texas heat that makes me fear the clouds won’t come.

Maybe it’s just a false sense of self.

I’m still steady holding onto that tree bark, and then when another thing (another friendship, car, job, pet, whatever it is) that comes down the stream from You… I love the way it makes me feel, and I want more of that—so, in my selfishness, I reach out and quickly grasp for it too, before it leaves my sight.  All the while, I’m still holding onto that first thing.  Well, what I don’t realize is yet again, I’ve grabbed another huge chunk of tree bark.  Before I know it, I’ve got a whole collection of tree bark sitting at the bottom of my stream, being held in place by the huge dam I’ve inadvertently built, where the water is supposed to flow back out into the world.

And those things that I was trying to grab? Those raindrops? Yeah, they’re long gone.  They are miles downstream, some of them.  Others have evaporated immediately and went back up into the cloud, and they are coming back down through the stream of love from Your heart to mine.

But when they get there, I don’t even recognize them.  After all, I think I have a hold of those things, at the bottom of my river, in that huge collection that I’ve built up.  But what I don’t realize is that they are really contained in the droplets of water that came rushing by, left again, and are now back pouring through my life once again.  I’ve grabbed hold so tightly to worthless dead driftwood.

So my friend comes walking in, and I reach out to hug them, and there is absolutely no connection now.  Where is that love that I used to feel so strongly?  Where is that emotion that usually overwhelms my heart as I reach out and wrap my arms around them?  I’m dead inside.  Something is wrong.

“What’s wrong, Lord?” I cry out.  “I don’t want to feel like this!”

He points to that pile of dead tree bark sitting at the bottom of our stream, clogging the pathway of the river.  Not only am I slowing down the progress of all those tiny drops of water–after all, they have jobs to do, too. They have to get out to the rest of the world to pour into others–but I have blocked their flow, slowed them down, because I have held so tightly onto something — onto nothing– worrying that God would not bring them back into my life.

And yet, He did.

And yet, even so, I couldn’t appreciate them fully because I was holding onto some worthless dead driftwood, thinking it contained that thing I was holding onto so tightly.  But it didn’t.  My friend is back, in the flesh, and my heart wants so badly to pour out into their hearts and overflow them like they do mine (in reality, it’s ALL God pouring into both of us)..but I can’t.  Because I have blocked the flow of love from His heart to mine, and back out to the world.  I held on so tight, and I built a dam in the stream of His love, right after it poured through my heart.

A dam that has no business anywhere in this entire ecosystem of His love.

Lord, I need You to help me release the things that I’ve held onto.  Because now I realize that as hard as I try, I can never, ever, ever hold onto the things that You have chosen to bless me with.  All I can do is bow at Your feet, and praise You for them!  And ask You to please bring them back around again–IF it is in Your will.  Not my will, Lord, but Yours!

When I couldn’t find grace in my life–guess where it was? Caught up in all that junk at the bottom of my stream.  It couldn’t flow anywhere.  It was caught up in the weeds that had started growing there, it was not able to flow to anyone.

Lord, I need You to open up my fingers that have grasped so tightly to those worthless things.  I need You to break lose all those pieces of worthless dead wood at the bottom of my stream–and let them float on out to the banks of the river.  Father, I need You to release the flow again of love pouring from Your heart into mine and back out to others.

When I block it, it is unbearable.  But when I take my hands off, and let You work, I am more fulfilled than ever!  You speak into my heart more clearly. I feel Your presence more powerfully, filling my heart with Your radiant Love.  And I feel the grace You give so freely, finally pouring back out to others.  When this cycle is opened back up, Lord, I feel You again!

What is your dam made of?  Fear of rejection?  Fear of failure? Fear of_____?

Let Go, and Let God—it sounds so simple, but it’s a process.  It’s always a process.  And yet, when we are able to release our grasp on everything around us, and just let Him pour into and through us, out to others, it is SOOO worth it!!!!

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