It was a problem that plagued me. Seriously. For years, at various times, the problem would pop itself up in my mind–as I drove, as I got ready for bed or as I ran.
If you have ever driven by my house, you may have noticed it.
Our fence line is laced with big black pots that are supposed to sport a big bushel of red geraniums. If I remember to water, fertilize and dead head on a regular basis, they do…all except one pot. Things will start out beautiful, but over the course of a few weeks, the blossoms will fail and the leaves will begin to wither.
I noticed that water really wasn’t draining from the pot, so I drilled a new drain hole. I thought that perhaps the soil mixture was too heavy, so I dug out half of it and replaced it with a light potting soil.
Finally, this year, I decided to start fresh and I emptied the entire pot…and found the culprit. When I create my pot mix–1/3 top soil, 1/3 potting soil and 1/3 organic matter–I just grab an empty plastic container to “shovel” it into the pots. It appears that one of those stayed in the mix and had lodged itself along the bottom of the pot–effectively stopping any drain holes.
Some of you may be scratching your heads. ”What’s a drain hole?” When you water plants, you want the water to flow in the top, travel throughout the soil and then the excess will drain out the bottom. This allows for a fresh flow of nutrients throughout all the roots. When water is trapped, it becomes stagnant and (as seen above) the plant can die.
This premise is seen all throughout nature.
The most vibrant lakes have a water source that flows into them and another that flows out. The opposite is the endorheic basins. Here water flows in through rivers and natural drainage, but nothing flows out. We know these water bodies by names such as The Dead Sea, The Great Salt Lake and Devil’s Lake. (Do you see a theme?) The only way water leaves these lakes is through evaporation–which takes the pure H2O and leaves all the minerals, salts and pollutants. The concentration of these grow over time and can create some pretty ugly situations. (See Salton Sea) There is no control over the lake levels. Years of drought can cause them to shrink or disappear. Years of rain cause uncontrolled flooding–as seen at Devil’s Lake where the water level grew 25 feet destroying 100s of homes, businesses and countless acres of farmland. State officials decided to stop the madness and proposed a way for the lake to drain into the Sheyenne River. Neighboring states joined Canada in immediately crying foul as the centuries of pollutants and parasites from Devil’s Lake would be pouring into their pristine water streams. I tell you, water is serious business.
When God wants to make a point, He makes sure we can’t ignore it.
It’s a law of nature–for things to flourish, water must flow in and out. All throughout the Bible, God and His Word is equated with water–life giving water.
Sometimes we become Great Salt Lakes. Especially after a tough time, we allow others to pour into us. We sit and absorb His Word. We can even pray 24/7, but the circle of our prayer ends with ourselves–or a few select people. Here is the danger. We can become stagnant. You West Texans know what breeds in standing water…mosquitos.
God promises us that
“If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” Isaiah 58:10
In other words, as you allow the life giving water to flow from you, you will find your own life brightened as the noonday sun.
Start small. Send a text to one person a day giving them encouragement. Sign up to help with a service project at church. Smile and make eye contact with the checker at the grocery store. It’s amazing what the small things will do. Soon you will find yourself signing up for R2R (shameless plug) where you can be a part of something so much larger than yourself.
So, today, make it a point to allow God to flow in you and throughout you. You will blossom, flourish and be a joy to all those around you.
You can’t argue…God said it.
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