When I was a kid my parents had an aboveground pool. At the beginning of each summer my brothers and I would help my dad prepare the pool by taking off the tarp and skimming out all the tadpoles and rotting leaves. No matter how properly secured the covering had been tied the previous year, the water was always a dark-green murky color. As soon as the thick plastic tarp was removed the mosquitos would begin dancing all around us. There was only one solution when it came to getting rid of that toxic swamp: chlorine. It would normally take a couple of days, but suddenly I could look out from the back window and see a pristine oasis. It was amazing the difference it made; how welcoming that water would become when just a week before I never would have dreamed of inviting my friends over to swim.
We jumpstart a pool with chlorine because we don’t want to swim in filth and we have alone time with God for the same reason. When we take a moment to acknowledge that our Father is with us, it has the same effect as that chlorine tablet. The more time we spend looking to Him the clearer that water becomes. Not only does it change our attitude, but also, like that pool, we suddenly become more inviting to those around us. Just as Jesus changed water into wine, he changes our hearts from apathy to joy.
Hebrews 10:22-23 says that since we have our Savior Jesus, we should “draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”
It doesn’t take much chlorine to clean a pool; it doesn’t take a long-winded prayer to get close to God. With sincere hearts we simply say that we need him, which is what it takes to make all the difference in eternity. We can rest in the assurance that our faithful Lord is ever ready to draw us close. But we must take that step. We cannot let the swamps begin to take shape in our lives, so before they do lets recognize that we have a hope stronger than chlorine, hope that lasts longer than a summer season! Each day is like a clean start, not for a pool, but for us. Let’s start fresh right now, knowing God is working His love through us. As Paul says, “sing and make music in your heart to the Lord!” (Eph 5:19)
Pastor Chris Osterbrock
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com