He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. (EZEK 47:4)
Remember the bit about awakening being an outside thing? Here’s what’s amazing about today’s text. The further we get from the temple, the deeper the water gets. It seems like it would be just the opposite—lots of water at the source that trickles out smaller and smaller as it goes out.
The mystery of this river is the way its source moves with it. As the source moves so the stream grows. And so it goes with the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. There is always more. Remember that time Jesus went to the wedding party in Cana’the one where they ran out of wine? Yes, Jesus turned water into wine, but not just a little bit. It came to around one hundred fifty gallons of wine, and it wasn’t just okay wine. It was the very best wine. The longer the party went on the better the wine got. That is how it is with Jesus. The further down the river we go, the deeper the water gets. With Jesus, life will not get easier and easier. In fact, it will probably get harder, but it will get better and better. In fact, the best will be saved for last.
This is how awakening works in our lives and through our lives into the world. It starts as a trickle and builds slowly and steadily—now knee-deep . . . now waist-deep. This can happen in our lives over a period of weeks and months. In the wider world it can take years and even decades to build. On both fronts, that of our lives and that of the world, we must hold on to patience and perseverance. On both fronts it often takes the vantage point of years in the future to look back and understand how it happened.
Come Holy Spirit and raise the water level in the riverbed that is our band. Save us from the isolated way of seeing ourselves as a few independent, self-sufficient people and open us up to new growth together. Let the water level rise not just in our individual selves but in our life together. Teach us the all for one and one for all way of your working. In Jesus’ name, amen.
How would you characterize the depth of the water as a band? Ankle-deep? Knee-deep? Waist-deep? Other? How can we learn to think of ourselves more together than as apart?
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