So I floated the Guadalupe this weekend. We lost keys and licenses and phones and lots of money to the river. We lost one of our group 3 minutes into the trip and didn’t find her till we got off the river. 4 of our cars were towed and they wanted $600 to get them back. I got a sunburn that’ll probably hurt for a few more days, and if memory serves, I think I accidentally threw my pride away in an empty beer can. Thankfully the hole my pride left doubled as a keg shell, so at least I had somewhere to put the rest of the beer I drank.
Speaking of keg shells, in what was likely the only good idea we had all weekend, we took a pony keg down the river. A great idea, especially if you have a friend who runs a micro brewery and knows how to clean out a keg shell with 8 year old Honey Brown Lager left over from a math party. Pony kegs work better than full kegs on the river, and 7 and a half gallons probably would have lasted us the whole trip if we hadn’t kept stopping to wait for all 20 of us to regroup.
It was a good weekend, and it was good to see everyone. I got to see my bonfire son’s 3 month old daughter, thankfully she doesn’t look anything like her daddy. And the rest of our group is so spread out over Texas that we can’t ever find a weekend to get together besides the annual river trip.
The sunburn really took its toll on me though, and I crashed pretty early Saturday night. When I woke up at about 3 that morning I needed water more baddlier than I’ve ever needed water before in my life. I was trying to see in the pitch blackness of the rental house, and about that time I heard someone in the kitchen and from the sound of the plastic rustling, they were looking for water too.
There should have been quite a few bottles left, but we couldn’t find any. I tried to drink off the tap, but there are few things as gross as luke-warm river water. As I crawled back on the couch, and she took her place back on the recliner near my head, I remembered the water bottle I hadn’t opened when I laid down on the couch earlier that night. I found it on the floor, and offered it to her.
It was pitch black, so black I couldn’t see the bottle right in front of me, and I would assume she couldn’t either. There were a half dozen other people sleeping in the den and we didn’t want to wake them up, so we were whispering so quietly we couldn’t actually hear each other.
Now I want you to picture this. I’m holding water out to her, but she doesn’t know that. I’m saying I’m holding a bottle of water out to her but she doesn’t know that either. All either of us can make out about the other is that we’re whispering. At some point she finally decides to reach out in the darkness, and she finds the water waiting there for her.
I seriously doubt I could come up with a better illustration for faith if I had tried.
I didn’t understand what God was offering me when I was in the darkness. All I knew is that I was thirsty, and the water I had wasn’t doing the trick. He offered me the living water, it was mine for the taking. But God had to whisper for a long time before I took what was already mine.
My friend could have just figured out that I was offering her water, and she could have sat back in her chair and gone to sleep knowing that she could have had as much as she wanted. But if she had done that, she still would have been thirsty. Knowing you don’t have to be thirsty doesn’t take away your thirst. Drinking water takes away your thirst.
In the same way, believing that God is God, and that Jesus is God and that the Holy Spirit is God doesn’t do a thing for you. Even believing that Jesus died and rose for your sins doesn’t do much for you. You have to take it, and use it, or it doesn’t make much of a difference at all. Work out your faith like you work out your body. Exercise it to make it strong and able to endure the hurdles set before you. This is faith, a belief so strong that it makes itself known in everything you do.