By: Elizabeth Howell
Hayes and I took our girls camping in Tennessee this week over Thanksgiving break. We met my parents and my sister and her family and had a great time! Laughter, games, amusement park fun, movies, cookies, cousins. A sweet, sweet time of thankfulness and togetherness.
As we were traveling to Tennessee we came upon a tornado warning. It was really exciting. Can you sense my sarcasm? As you probably know, tornadoes happen when the weather is warm. And it was warm, especially for November. 72 degrees to be exact. The next day, not so warm. Cold. So cold in fact that our pipes to our camper froze the first night. The men thought that it would have to be that cold for several days before the pipes would freeze. Not so much. We woke up to frozen pipes. As Hayes and our brother in law were working to unfreeze the pipes, I just kept thinking about how quickly that happened. Water to ice in a matter of a few hours. We were all cozy in our nice, warm campers all the while the water in our pipes were getting colder and colder. Eventually freezing. And we awoke to frozen pipes and no water.
I started thinking about how I can be like the cold water. My words and actions can start getting colder and colder, until eventually freezing, all the while I’m thinking that I’m ok. I feel all cozy warm in my little comfort zone of fitting into those around me. I tell myself that I’ve got this under control, that it will take a lot more for me to freeze. I mean, I realize it so it must be ok. But I shouldn’t feel all cozy warm in my comfort zone of fitting in, because, after all as a Christian I am set apart. And should act like I am set apart.
The Lord reminded me a lot through our frozen pipes. In John 7:38 Jesus says, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” Is a river of living water flowing from me when I have cold words and actions? Yes, because I am not the living water. Jesus is. And He is unending. It says “Whoever believes in Me…”. When you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ He is the living water, and it’s not contingent on our works. But I believe that I am not reflecting the living water that I carry when my words and actions are cold. Getting colder and colder until freezing. When pipes are frozen no water flows. None. Just like on our camping trip, we woke up to no water flowing through our faucets. That’s exactly what happens to my influence on others when they know me as a Christ follower, but my words and actions are cold and frozen and not reflecting the living water.
That morning we woke up to frozen pipes Hayes immediately started working to thaw out the pipes. However, he didn’t just wait for the temperature to warm up outside to thaw the pipes. He actually put his hands and feet to work. He went outside to evaluate how much the pipes were frozen, to gauge the severity of the situation, and then he poured boiling water over them.
So, just like Hayes took action to thaw out our frozen pipes, I need to take some action too. I will first spend some time with the one who created me, to help me see the severity, to get my mind set on Him and how He has set me apart. Then, I need to pour some “boiling water ” over the frozenness of my heart. 2 Timothy 1:6 says “Therefore, I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgement.” God wants to be the fire inside of us. Not the approval of others or what is acceptable to society. He wants His word to be life flowing through our veins, into our heart and out of our mouths through thoughts, words and actions. But we can’t manufacture it or will it to happen. We have to take action steps, the first ones being praying to the Lord and seeking Him and His word. Timothy continues to say in verse 9 “He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.”
So, I have started the thawing out process in my life and heart. I’ll pray to the Lord to rekindle the fire inside of me with His unfailing love. I will pray for forgiveness for the coldness of my words and actions. I will seek Him through His words and hide it in my heart. I will meditate on it day and night as scripture says. I will work on it. I’ll work on my words building up and not tearing down. I’ll work on my actions being more Christ-like. I’ll work on the amount of time I spend with the Lord. Because I know the Lord has set me apart and has called me to a holy life, a life reflecting His glory. And that’s the only life I want to live. I will strive for the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart to be pleasing to the Lord. For He is my savior, my rock and my redeemer.