“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive,…” John 7:37-39a ESV
I was sitting on my deck, one beautiful morning, enjoying my coffee and Bible. After a few minutes, I noticed a sound that I thought was coming from one of the neighborhood homes. I ignored it for a while until I discovered the sound was closer than I originally thought. I got up from where I was sitting and began to explore. As I neared our birdbath in the side yard, I found the culprit. It was our solar powered fountain that we put in our birdbath for a nice affect. We had just bought it and placed it in the birdbath a few days before. The little pump was taking in all the sunlight it could, but had no water to pump out. It was dry because there was no water in the birdbath..
I thought the easy fix would be to get the hose and refill the birdbath, so I did. The pump began to spurt out its water in a beautiful pattern, and I went back to my devotions on the deck. After some time, as I was heading in to get ready for the day, I checked on the fountain. It was doing that same hum that it was earlier in the morning. That hum meant no water again. Now I was intrigued. What was happening to the water? I filled it up again, but, this time, I took the pedestal off the base and placed it on the deck for a closer observation. I noticed that the water pattern was spraying water outside the basin of the bath. Over the next 20 minutes, it became shallow and hard to pump water again. I had discovered the problem. The pump, when working properly, needed a better and bigger water supply to keep doing its job. There was only one thing to do, find a bigger source for the fountain so I put it in the pool. Since then, that fountain has enjoyed an endless supply of water. Over 20,000 gallons of it and 27 feet of circumference to float and spray. It certainly is not Old Faithful, but that little squirt is a lot happier for sure. The ultimate fix will be getting a bigger birdbath.
For a couple days after putting the fountain in the pool, I noticed something. Our pool has a few trees around it that provides shade at certain parts of the day. When that solar powered fountain would hit the shade, the spray would decrease to a sputter. It would not stop pumping, but you could tell it was missing its power source. As soon as it hit the bright sunshine, it would take off and say, “Look at me!” using the full power of the sun to function.
If you are reading this devotion, you have already guessed that God gave me some lessons with this little solar powered pump and the birdbath. Here it goes.
Jesus is to be our source if we are to be at our best. We need to make sure we are in the endless supply of His love and power. If we keep hanging out in the shallow birdbath of life with little to no intimacy with Jesus and His word, we will be like that little fountain. It is not that something is wrong with us, it is simply a problem of location. Jesus said that if we abide in Him, He and His Father will abide in us, and we will bear fruit. That fruit will last and make a difference in this world. If you are constantly finding yourself dry and empty, look at where you are living spiritually. Those drive by devotions and casual church attendance will never be enough.
Once you find the source and the endless supply of living water, there are still shadows and valleys to endure. Life is not fair, and Jesus said we will have troubles. The key is what are you allowing your troubles to do? If you are in the shallow birdbath, your troubles will dry you out and sooner than later things like bitterness, offense, depression, and other attitudes and countenances can begin to lead your emotions instead of the truth of God’s Word and love. But if you are in the deep devotional life of intimacy with Jesus, even though you hit a shadow and you cannot feel the full strength of the warm sun, you can still sputter and that is living too! Life is full of sputtering moments, but sputtering doesn’t dry up the pump of life in your heart. Instead, the sputtering keeps the pump primed and when the sun does come back out, you are ready to display the fullness of God in your life. The key is to not quit in the shadows. Do not take yourself from the depths of unlimited supply and put yourself back into the small birdbath. Sputter!
The last observation I had was the purpose of the fountain. I imagine we will get a bigger birdbath that will hold the water and the fountain spray. This little fountain was not made for a pool. It was made for a birdbath. The fountain is a sign of life. Moving water in the Bible signifies life. That is why people are attracted to mountain streams, beautiful park fountains and roaring waterfalls. They bring beauty, happiness, life, and power. The Holy Spirit is this living water Jesus speaks of. You are called to bring beauty, joy, life, and power to others. When you are in a place of purpose with the supply of God’s love, you will bring life to others. Even when you sputter. The key is the true source of life. Jesus said living waters will flow from within you and out of you. Those waters will supply refreshment and rest to others. The Holy Spirit will use you to restore, bring hope and help others feel the love of Jesus.
Maybe you will never look at a fountain or a birdbath the same way again. I guess that is good. Maybe my little birdbath fountain was used by God to bring life in this devotion. I hope so. Take some time and see where you are in your spirit. Find the true source and get pumping. Endure the shadows and do not quit. God will use the fountain from your heart to give life to others.