Our verse for today comes from 2 Kings 2:19, ” Then the men of the city said to Elisha, ‘Please notice, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren.’ “
Our house could use some work. From a distance, it appears to be a nice enough house, with an inviting front porch and traditional swing welcoming all visitors. The yard is decked out with an array of azaleas that bloom as they may, and the signs of kids playing range from the rope swing hanging from a tree to the basketball goal in the driveway to the bike path cut through the natural area. But upon closer examination, there is plenty that needs to be done to our residence. Both garage doors are damaged and barely function. The front walkway is rotted and needs to be completely replaced. The back deck has several bad spots that need to be repaired. The air conditioner for the bonus room is broken, and so a window unit cools that area. The burn pile in the backyard is massive and long overdue for burning, and the kids’ bathroom has an unfinished plumbing situation that has gone on for months. These issues, and many others, have fallen victim to the demands of living life and fleeting finances. We’re getting by, but like so many of you, things could be better.
In Jericho, the city looked pleasant to the visitor’s eye. But upon closer examination, there was trouble under foot. The city had water, and the ground had its foliage, but the water didn’t nourish and the crops didn’t yield. There was life and living and activity, but there was no fulfillment. The city looked like it should, but it wasn’t all that it appeared. Even more than our homes, our lives can look so proper when viewed from afar. We’re putting in the effort, doing the right things, and keeping ourselves straight. But the fulfillment isn’t there. And it’s not from a lack of trying. Nor is it from living some double life of hidden shame. The problem is that we aren’t meant to power our own efforts. We’ve devolved into performing our duties separated from the source of our being. Bible reading and church and sacrifice don’t work when we bring it of ourselves. That only leads to frustration. Christ must be the reservoir that overflows through us.
As we seek Him today, take your frustrating efforts to do things and be better to Jesus, and let Him give you what you need to do what He wants and be who He wants you to be.
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