Sunday, May 1, 2011
“…give me neither poverty nor riches… that may not be full and deny you…” –Prv. 30:8,9
Water. We drink and bathe in it every day but rarely think of its immense importance. Water makes up 70% of the earth’s surface and 70% of our bodies. No wonder we’re thirsty all the time. Like many things in our lives, we simply take it for granted until we have too much or not enough of it. A part of appreciating life is realizing the blessings we do have, whether full or empty. We pass that habit on to our kids every time we identify those blessings.
This week we had too much water where we live in the Ozarks. Last week, it rained and rained and then rained some more. The series of rivers and lakes, connected through the Ozarks, is controlled by a series of dams that run all the way to the Mississippi river. But those dams are releasing record amounts of water every second and many homes along the banks of the lakes are flooded. More rain is expected this week and there is worry that the water levels will stay high for a while.
My brother-in-law Brian lives in the other extreme. In Africa, water is a limited and valuable resource. Botswana primarily sits on the Kalahari Desert and has limited resources of water. The miracle called the Okavango Delta is responsible for the abundance of wildlife in Africa. It’s an inland delta that supplies water for central Africa. The national currency is called “pula,” which means, “rain” in their language. They recognize that water is as good as gold. One of the biggest religions there is to the “water God.” Sounds silly to us, but they simply cry out to the resource they deem the most important (instead of to the one who invented it to begin with).
Many historians claim that the prosperity of a country is linked uniquely to water. They point out that America is prosperous and wealthy because of its abundance of water. Rivers, lakes and oceans all supply the resource needed for transportation, agriculture and life.
I came face to face with the reality of water’s importance two weeks ago on a bed in an emergency room in Branson. I had food poisoning and my body was severely dehydrated. They put me on an IV and pumped water into my veins. It made all the difference. I felt better in 3o minutes. Humans can survive for weeks without food, but only days without water.
For most of us here in the States, we’ll never lack for water. What about the other blessings in our lives? What about our homes and cars? What about our finances and health? We thank the Lord for all He has provided but we have to be careful not to worship what He has given us. Like the people in Botswana who worship the water gods, there are gods in the States too: money, power, homes, or sports. As empty as they are, they have proven worthy of worship by many.
Remember, what we prioritize as parents is usually passed onto our kids. It’s been said that the god in our lives is where we submit our time, resources and lives. What are your kids observing as they watch you? Be sure your kids recognize that you first honor the true God of the Bible.
The old song reminds us to “count our blessings, count them one by one.” Be sure you acknowledge the blessings in your life. Mention them out loud to your kids.
And whether you have too much or too little water, thank the Lord.
By Eric Joseph Staples ©