Well here we are, week nine of lockdown and I hope you are managing to keep busy and have some focus to your day. I find myself in a phase of life which is quite different to what I have known before, I have time! The problem with having time to do things is that you have to get down to those jobs which always seem to be at the bottom of the list, such as clearing out cupboards! So last week this was the target I set myself, to clear out the cupboards in our kitchen – I have to say is was not as bad as I thought it would be and now every time I open a cupboard I get a deep sense of satisfaction, and even more thrilling is I can see what I have and access it easily. As I was clearing out the cupboards, I was reminded of a story in Genesis 26 where because of the envy the Philistines felt against Isaac, they had filled the wells which his father Abraham had dug with rubbish, but Isaac reopened the wells. (Genesis 26:12-18). In my imagination I see these wells which were once a deep source of pure clean water, filled with earth and rocks and any other rubbish which the Philistines had to hand. I wonder what would have been in those wells if they had been filled up in today’s world? I am sure there would have been old tyres or a supermarket trolley, our imaginations could I am sure create quite a picture! We may not know how long the wells had been stopped but what we do know is that Isaac was determined to clear them out. He made a decision to get to grips with what was hindering the flow of water, and even though it wouldn’t have been easy he removed the rubbish and restored the flow of water.
Throughout the bible we read a lot about water, it symbolises life. Jesus tells the women of Samaria that the water he wanted to give her was ‘living water’ (John 4:9-11). Jesus announces that all who believe in him will have streams of living water flowing out of them (John 7:37-39). Today Jesus want us to know the water of the Holy Spirit is flowing through our lives. Water that is flowing is always fresh and life giving; it has a sound that brings joy to those who hear it, and this is what Jesus wants to give us each day. The trouble is that sometimes our lives get filled up with rubbish! Sometimes the rubbish is big stuff that is thrown at us and stops the flow of the life giving presence of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes it is a slow, steady build-up of things – a bit like my kitchen cupboards; it is easy to just keep pushing things to the back but all the time they are creating a blockage to the flow. Whatever the size, the rubbish needs to be removed so that the Holy Spirit can flow freely through us and into a world that particularly at this time is looking for hope, comfort and peace.
I really do believe that one of the benefits of lockdown is that our lives are simpler, we are not as busy, and our time isn’t clogged up with the rushing and business of how we were before this virus hit. Cleaning cupboards is not the most exciting activity but it is one which we need to do regularly and in the same way I believe we need at times to decide to clear out the clutter and rubbish in our lives so that the living water of the Holy Spirit can once again flow through us without obstacles reducing the flow. I want to encourage you today to ask our Lord Jesus to show you those things that are stopping the flow of the Holy Spirit in your life, and ask the Lord for his strength to deal with them and restore you once again so that out of us all who believe will flow that living water which comes from our heavenly Father.
Isaac went on to dig more wells in other places declaring that ‘the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land’. (Genesis 26:22). My prayer is that we will all know the Lord’s blessings and that we will all flourish in the days that lie ahead.