Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Too Much, Too Little

We had upgraded the bathroom and replaced our old claw-foot iron tub with a tub/shower combination. Now it was time for the graduation party.

Greg graduated from Cedarville College in Ohio, and Brett graduated from Southside High School in Fort Wayne, IN.

The house was spotlessly dressed in festive array. The empty serving dishes were set atop a linen tablecloth on the table, each containing a piece of paper indicating what would go in that dish when it was time to fill them. On the buffet were pictures of the two boys, their athletic letters, diplomas, a dish with green and white candies (Southside's colors), a dish with blue and yellow candies, (Cedarville's colors), and in the center, a huge cake with white icing, decorated half in green and white and half in blue and yellow. We were all ready for the guests.

Upstairs, one of the grandchildren was getting ready for a bath, forgetting that the new tub filled up faster than the old one.

The pond in the back yard was overflowing from the heavy rain the night before. I put the siphon tube in the pond to allow some of the water to run out so the fish wouldn't jump onto the rocks around the edge of the pond and die. Coming back into the house, I heard the sound of dripping water. I ran into the dining room. Water was coming down through the chandelier! The tub was running over. I ran upstairs, shut off the water, came down, washed and dried the dishes, replaced the tablecloth, and reset the table.

I remembered David's words:

"You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God." Psalm 40:17 (NRSV)

Please Lord, I need your strength. Help me get ready before the doorbell rings. There, the food was placed in the dishes, the punch and ice ring were in the punch bowl, and I sighed a sigh of ... Oh my goodness, the siphon tube is still in the pond.

I ran outside. The poor fish were lying on the rocks at the bottom of the pond gasping for water. "Here is some water right from the hose."

I rushed in, took off my apron, and smiled as we greeted the first guests!

Too much water in the tub. Too little water in the pond. Both requiring an emergency solution.

Is this how Moses felt when the people were surrounded by hills on two sides, Pharaoh's chariots behind them, and the Red Sea in front of them? Their only way of escape had "too much water," they complained. (Exodus 14)

"Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? " Exodus 14:11 (NRSV)

An emergency! God shut off the water, dried up the bottom of the sea, and they crossed on dry land.

But when they came to a place where there was no water, again they complained.

"Too little water" they murmured. "Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us die of thirst?" Exodus 17:3 (Paraphrased).

Again God provided. He gave them water right from the rock.

Are there times when there is "too much water," and you feel like you are drowning in a sea of obligations, worries, illnesses, and you cry out in complaint to God saying, "There is no way out. Why have you sent this into my life"?

Are there times when there is "too little water" and you feel you don't have enough strength to do one more task, pay another bill, or hold and comfort a sick child another moment?

God is here, ready to shut off that drowning feeling when we have more than we can handle.

He is ready to turn on that help when we are gasping for strength to go on. I am reminded of the reassuring message in the song "Water from the rock is what I needed."

God is our constant provider and problem solver. He wants to supply whatever we need whenever we are left with little of our own strength. Ask Him. He will shut off the faucet of fear, discouragement, and stress, and He will let the water of life flow through us, filling us with His strength to meet every need. Isaiah 40:31 promises:

"But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." (NRSV)

Let Him control the water in your life. He never gives too much; He never gives too little. How great is our God!

Copyright © 2015 by Emily L. Pippin. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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