When’s the last time you were sprayed with a fire hose? It’s something you’d notice, right? I mean it would be pretty hard to be sprayed with a fire hose, walk away and think, “hmm...I think I may have gotten wet.” A comment like that would just be ridiculous, right?
When’s the last time you were stuck in the desert without water? Again, it’s something you’d notice, right? You’d feel your body heavy from the heat and exhaustion, craving just a tiny sip of water...even lukewarm water would be good at that point.
The two extremes are so obviously when it’s a physical experience. Our bodies don’t know how to function on either extreme. Too much water and we don’t worry about wasting a little. Too much water and we worry about wasting the tiniest drop.
In the last three weeks, I feel like I went from the fire hose to the desert. I realize that part of that statement is literally true. But I’m talking spiritually.
America is a fire hose. As American Christians, we are flooded with Jesus. We can be involved in something Jesus-related seven days a week. Church on Sunday. Bible study on Monday. Young adult group on Tuesday. Choir on Wednesday. Prayer group at work on Thursday. Christian concert on Friday. Outreach on Saturday. We are being fed truth...fed worship...fed prayer...fed fellowship...fed discipleship...constantly. While I realize we can all say no, the reality is that as Christians, we often get into our Christian bubble and fill our weeks with good Christian stuff. And it is just that...good. None of it is bad. In fact, pretty much my whole life has been this and it was GOOD. God used it in amazing ways to grow me and challenge me and I’m so incredibly grateful. It’s a fire hose of living water.
A lot of the world is a desert. No, I’m not saying there aren’t amazing places that are seeking the heart and face of God in beautiful ways. There definitely are and I’m blessed to have opportunities to participate in some of them. But it’s not a fire hose. It takes so much intentionality to get drips of water. Yes, there’s a weekly church service, but after that (and sometimes even during that), the water is scarce (which is a literal problem right now, too). How do you find that deep, solid truth? How do you have those deep, intimate relationships grounded in truth? What does it look like in a culture where Jesus is not prevalent or welcomed? How do you go from the fire hose to the desert? Yes, the fire hose should have supplied you well for the desert, but it’s easy to take the fire hose for granted and then wish you had bottled up a lot more while you were there.
I’ll admit that these last few weeks, in search of water, have been exhausting and overwhelming at times. There have been times that I’ve wondered if I’ll ever find the refreshing streams again. And yet God is so sweet. He lays truth on my heart, reminding me of his goodness and his faithfulness.
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirst for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my
My soul will be satisfied as with the
richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will
- Psalm 16:5-6, 9
So I guess I want to encourage you. If you’re in the fire hose, drink deeply. You are in a sweet place. You are being poured into in so many rich ways. There will be a day when you’re in the desert and this time in the fire hose will be blessing to the soul. If you’re in the desert, seek earnestly! God has not left you. He may feel distant. He may feel silent. But he has not left you.
- James 4:8a
“‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity.’”
- Jeremiah 29:13-14a