Four days ago, two fast-moving lines of thunderstorms dumped nearly five inches of rain on our part of the state in less than twenty-four hours.
Basements flooded, languid streams turned to torrents, and rivers surged out of their banks.
Homeowners have pumped out their basements and piled ruined, sodden belongings on the curb, waiting for garbage trucks. Creeks (the first to flood and first to fall) have resumed their normal path, leaving behind muddied soybean and corn fields. The large river closest to us is still rising, forcing the closure of the main highway there.
In a few days (if we don’t receive any more heavy rain), the flood waters will recede. The river will drop below flood stage, leaving orphaned pools of water, which will eventually begin to smell–and not in a good way.
I usually read a more modern translation of the Bible, but the King James version’s story of Lazarus really captures this idea of an unpleasant odor. The Revised Standard Version merely warns of “an odor,” and the Good News Version cautions about a “bad smell.”
Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
John 11:39 KJV
How do I describe the olfactory assault from the stagnant water left from the flood? It stinketh!
So do I at times. I choke the flow of Living Water when I neglect prayer and Bible study
–an unpleasant odor.
When I get too busy for fellowship and quiet meditation, I begin to stagnate
–a bad smell.
I fail to grow and thrive as a Christian
–the stench of death.
I can become
stale, at best, and foul, at worst,
close-minded to God’s leading in new directions,
irritable and hard to live with
But–glory to God!–Jesus’ resurrection-giving Living Water can clean me up and make me sweet-smelling again.
Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.
John 7:38 NIV
Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation–an aroma redolent with life.
2 Corinthians 2:15,16 MSG
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linking with Jennifer Dukes Lee
linking with Holley Gerth
linking with Essential Thing Devotions