God is my Source!
I met an interesting young woman the other day when Jody and I were on the Grand Canyon Railway in Williams, Arizona. She was our tour guide and appeared to be in her early thirties. She was a caring and articulate person – someone who would make an easy friend. I enjoyed talking to her on the trip. The train we rode to the Grand Canyon was a beautiful old steam engine. It was a great time! The experience took us back in time to visit one of great natural wonders of the world.
The day before, Jody and I had driven from Las Vegas, Nevada to Williams, Arizona. The trip took about three hours and took us over several incredibly steep mountains and through one beautiful painted canyon after the other. No trees. Only tumbleweeds. Nothing green. Miles and miles of nothing but mountains and spectacular sky separated the two or three other very small towns we encountered on our trip. We wondered what life looked like for these people. How do they live? Where do they buy their groceries? What do they do for a living?
I often wonder these things when we travel. It is amazing how small our view of the world is. We all assume everyone lives like we do … whatever that “do” is. So, on the train ride back to Williams, and after seeing the glorious canyon, we asked our guide, “What is life like out here for you?” She was glad to share. She had only lived in the southwest. She spoke for a long time about the importance of water. She told a story about the town of Williams and its long journey to drill a well. She told us that the company that drilled the town’s well a few years earlier had to drill 4,000 feet down before hitting the water table! It had cost the town millions of dollars to accomplish the job. And, the project took much longer than anticipated. She also explained that the only people who benefitted from the drill were the business owners and a few families that lived inside the city limits. Then all of a sudden, I felt very guilty for taking my standard 10-minute shower that morning at the Railway hotel. Yikes! Water was primo here! Well really, everywhere! I also felt a twinge of remorse for throwing my towel on the floor after the long shower. I am such a poodle!
Intrigued, I asked more questions. I asked if she got water from the city well. She quickly replied with a chuckle. “No,” she couldn’t afford that. She had water delivered to her house, one 200-gallon tank at a time. She also went into great detail about how people have to capture all precipitation and use it to wash clothes, clean windows, water vegetable plants, etc. And, the people of Williams were hoping for a few inches of snow the next day so that they could collect more water.
I pondered what she was telling me. I guessed that every time she turned on her faucet she was mentally deducting it from the total of water in her tank. Mind blowing! I was flabbergasted! Most interesting, she was not troubled by any of this. This was the only way of life she had ever known. I, on the other hand, was troubled. Obviously, I am a spoiled city girl. I expect to flush my toilet after every use, wash my laundry whenever I feel like it and wash my car on occasion. I became distraught and found myself worrying about her, her life and her community.
I am from a very green and wet Alabama where on any given week in the spring we get 2-3 inches of rain. We have a pool and in the summer I faithfully water our flowers every other day. I do have a rain barrel, but only because I read somewhere that plants like rain water more than they do city water. WOW! What a different way to do life. As we left the train, Jody and I said our good byes and thanked our guide for her excellent care and for her description of the beauty we saw from the train’s windows. I prayed out loud on our trip out of Arizona and as we headed back to Nevada, “Lord, bless these people with rain!”
Jody and I had a great time on our trip to the Grand Canyon. If you have never been, I highly recommend it! But during that trip I learned something about myself – our guide’s story struck a nerve and got up next to me. I found myself praying for my new friend and her weather.
Soon after returning home from our trip, we got 4 inches of rain in just a 24-hour period. I felt gluttonous! And since returning home, I think about our guide every time I turn on the faucet. I have also thought about the people in her community and have prayed for them often. I have had to reflect and think about what it was that really bothered me about her way of life. Why did I hear her voice explaining her way of life replaying in my head? A couple of weeks later, I believe I have figured it out. Keep reading.
As much as I profess that GOD IS MY SOURCE, there is a part of me that also subconsciously thinks, “I got it God, don’t worry about me, my needs are met.” When I want water, I turn on the tap and out comes clean, cool water. The City Water Board has never let me down! When I’m cold, I have plenty of electricity to start the heater. When I’m hungry, I go to one of four Publix grocery stores in a five-mile radius from my home. I’m surrounded by comfort, and I don’t want to be without it.
In this comfort saturated state, I sin. I falsely think that I don’t need God. I let comfort, or rather the city water board 😊, become an idol that replaces my need for God. In error I put my trust in man. My guide’s story brought this falsehood up to the surface. I cannot ignore it. My ever-ready supply of water is not my source. God is my source (Deuteronomy 2:7, Psalms 68:9). My happiness is not dependent on running city water, but on Jesus. God and His word are what sustains me.
While confessing my sin and praying for forgiveness, the apostle Paul came to mind. Paul understood that God was his source. While in prison and with much less comfort than even my guide’s rain less life in Arizona, Paul wrote this to the church in Philippi: “I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength (Philippians: 4:10-13.).”
Paul was OK because God sustained him and gave him strength! Now, it is OK for us to be moved to prayer for our neighbor, but we must not fret. Why? Because God is their source! It is also not OK for us to smugly think that we have everything under control and attempt to make it on our own. Instead, we must remember that it is by the grace of God that we live, breathe and have our being (Acts 17:28)!
Our source is not our health, our marriage, our children, or our job. And in my case, my source is not the City Water Department. I do not know what your source is, but I pray that it is God! Reflect on this for a few moments and allow God’s truths to wash over you! God is all we need, and in Him we have all our needs met. Mind blowing!
Keep reading, friend! Let us fix our eyes on God and continue the race towards glory arm in arm with our spouse (Hebrews 12:2).
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.