Some days, I feel like a fish in a dry fishbowl.
I’ve given all my water, drop by drop, to other fish who need it. Projects which are like sponges drain my mind, there must be a hole somewhere inside my bowl. Worry, anxiety, stress, and fatigue leave me gasping.
Some days it seems like I have no mental space to deal with anything. Just a raised voice makes me jump out of my skin, and the bright glare of the sun sends me shivering within. It’s hard to give and give and give of my time, it’s hard to be a servant when you can barely even tell people hi.
But guess what?
We have a way to be filled, even when life and pain and illness drain us. When life seems overwhelming, but there are still people that you want to help, people who have lives you want to pour into, you can know that you have a source to take life and joy from. A fountain that is ever ready to fill you to overflowing.
We don’t have to worry, because we have an eternal fountain filled with everlasting mercies.
“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
I was talking to a friend on the phone, and she mentioned the verse about God’s mercies never ending, being new every morning. And it hit me.
My whole life I’ve pictured God’s mercies like sand in the hour glass. I only have so much mercy allotted to my life, and if I use it up before the end of my life . . . So I try to do as much as I can on my own, “saving” my mercies for when I really need them. But that isn’t what the Bible teaches us.
We have a fountain from which we can drink, a fountain that quenches our thirst, and that fountain wells up in us. In fact, it should overflow in us! We should be overflowing with eternal life.
One of my favorite children’s book is actually a wordless book. It’s called “The Flower Man” by Mark Ludy. In this book, and old man comes into a dark and hopeless neighborhood, and one by one, he gives flowers to the people around him, lighting up their world with hope and love. This represents how we should be with eternal life. Everyone we touch, we should be giving them “flowers.”
And we don’t have to worry about running out of eternal life, or of mercy, or of grace, or of God’s steadfast love. We can give and give and give, and still be refilled, if we remember to continually go to the source.
Of course it isn’t easy. But the most fulfilling things in life, the things that grow us as humans and grow our relationship with God aren’t easy. God often calls us to do things that hurt, things that scare us, and things that seem impossible. But that’s when you’re rewarded beyond your comprehension. Because if it had just been you, the results would never have happened.
And the results are definitely worth the cost of the tears and pain.
In Christ, we aren’t fish in a dry fishbowl. We’re fish, caught by the Fisher of Men, and placed in the cleanest water available. And then we’re told to share this water with others. Because Christ has an endless supply.