Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stinkin' Water

Through our dust cloud along the dirt road leading to Green River Lake, we caught a glimpse of it, creeping up the slope from the roaring river of cold mountain waters. So strange on the landscape, it sparked our curiosity, and we requested an actual "stop and explore" on the drive back. After a long ride of drinking in solitude and scenery, the kids reminded us we had promised a stop at the odd white cascade. We began to slow down, looking for the ivory colored rocks we had seen, rolling down windows for the best views.

We knew we had relocated it long before we saw it. The smell was overpowering, and I guessed that what we had seen was a sulfur stream (remembering the smell from Grandma's faucet). We fought the overpowering stench and parked beside the rushing water making its way to join the clear river. Each rock was covered with white sulfur deposits. Despite the fact it was dusk in moose and mountain lion and wolf country (lions and tigers and bears ... oh, my!) the kids ducked fearlessly into the tall sage and cottonwood scrub and ran off in search of the stinkin' water source. I followed, planning to fight off predators who would find my kids who smelled like goldfish crackers ... or point Jeff to the predators who would find our snackish kids. :)

We found it. A spring bubbling up from a cluster of rocks, pouring on the slope and spewing its stench and sulfur wherever it went. We were fascinated. How could such nasty water come from the same ground as the pristine water below? As we followed its path downward to the clear river in the growing dimness, Jacob stepped into a patch of sulfuric mud, sucking in his foot. We tried to clean it, but the damage was done. He stomped in the clean side of the stream, his mud clouding the water for a long time, until the clear water began to wash away his foul sticky mess. He brought the smell, however, with him into the car! It lingered long.

What a picture, I thought, of our words. Sometimes both godly and ungodly words come out of the same mouth; when the ungodly spew out, they stink. Their residue is hard to get rid of, and they are offensive. We can often hear them before we see them, and they leave us wanting the clean, fresh words of the godly heart.

John 7 tells us that if we have believed in Jesus, streams of living water will flow from within us. Our world needs to hear the Living Water from our mouths today in our homes, in our offices, on our cell phones, in the classroom, on Facebook, at the gym ... everywhere. This is not easy, and I admit that I fail often; maybe I would be more determined to overcome my tongue, if there was an accompanying odor each time I speak an ugly word. May God help me to remember that the aroma of my words is lifted to Him, whether fragrant or foul.

James 3:8-11
But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?

help me today to allow the Spring of Living Water deep in me to come out fresh and clean. Keep me from allowing the ugly stench of my flesh to come out and offend, mixing with your purity in an obviously wrong way. "Let the words of my mouth" be clean.
- Amen

2 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Celia said...


Courtney said...

A convicting post - thanks!