All my fresh springs are in you 


I love being by water. It doesn’t matter if it is the sea, a lake, a stream, or a pool, water has always fascinated me and brought me great joy. As a child I would annoy my parents with my need to always be in the pool if we went on holiday. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left I would spend as much time in the water as possible. I think my love of water was due to the feeling of excitement and freedom I felt as I floated and swam. Although I don’t get much time to swim, my love of water has stayed with me as an adult, my favourite place to go is the Lake District where the water can be as still as a mirror. There are times where I have stood at the edge of ullswater lake and seen a near perfect reflection of the dramatic hills that line the shores. It really is breath taking and I find it amazing that all the little streams of water that cascade down the hills come together and form such beautiful pools. 

Reading the psalm today the last line “All my fresh springs are in you” stuck into my mind. It made me think about the feeling of excitement of doing something new, or finding out a new skill, or meeting a new friend, or having fun at church. I thought about how these small experiences trickle down like the streams, into a larger pool of joy, one that sustains us and fills us so that we become full like the glassy lake, a reflection of God’s love outpoured to those around us. 

These “fresh springs” that we experience are from God, his love and forgiveness filling us. When we draw close and sit at his feet, we realise that all good things come from him and we are revitalised by the fresh springs of his life giving water. 

Sometimes we find it hard to recognise God’s hand in the things we do and experience, and we find it hard to stop and say thank you. Today is Shrove Tuesday, famous for pancakes but also an opportunity for penitence, an opportunity to say sorry to God. I have had experiences that have been wonderful and it hasn’t been until later on when my eyes suddenly focus and I jump back and say “it is the lord!” 

Let’s take this opportunity to think about those times we didn’t recognise him and lift it up in prayer today. Let us keep our eyes open as we walk together through lent and let us be nourished and sustained by his life giving water so we can open our hearts and truly say “All my fresh springs are in you.” 

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Today’s trouble is enough for today

Our curate this morning asked if we took our worries to God before worrying about it all ourselves. I though this was interesting as I always feel a little silly telling God how much I need my family car, or money to eat with or a new tumble dryer. I mean, does God care about my tumble dryer? Does he know what it does? Has he seen me trying to dry seven lots of clothes on the radiators with a smile on my face. I’ve not been angry about the lack of drying facilities, it’s just one of those things. 

But when the house is quiet and I draw close to my Lord, I whisper into his ear my worries. I imagine sitting with him on my sofa as I lean into him feeling soothed by his presence. I thank him for keeping us sustained, because I know without his support we would certainly be in a much worse position. I thank him for giving me the wisdom to be able to think through problems calmly without getting upset or overwhelmed.

He knows my thoughts, he knows his plans for me. But does he know about the tumble dryer? 

I continued to try and not think about the piles of clothes and just got on with it. I asked my mother to help dry some towels, but she struggled for time. So the towels are piling up, the boiler is older than my eldest child. Anyway I keep going and keeping a wary eye on the boiler pleading it keeps going, praying that these seemingly trivial things blow over. 

At one point, after praying, my brain questioned my logic, “have you just asked God, creator of heaven and earth, the alpha and omega, for help with drying your washing……..?” 

Yep.

But that’s our God, he listens to all our worries. In the Gospel set for today, we are loved so deeply that we are told that worrying is unnecessary. That worrying over clothing is not needed as God clothes his creations with his own hand. This gospel reading is timely indeed, as on Thursday my lovely Aunt rang me to say she’d bought me a new tumble dryer. I was gobsmacked by her generosity and by her love for us. She said she didn’t want to see us struggle, that I didn’t need the extra stress of worrying about drying the clothes, that we needed help that she was happy to be a part of. 

This is our God, these are the worries that Jesus felt in his human life, he has felt our anxiety, our stresses, our emotions and our pain. His provision is more than a physical thing (like my tumble dryer) it’s about taking the burden from us to let us keep moving forward. To keep us sustained whilst walking this Christian life that we have chosen to journey with our Lord. 

Praying about our worries to our God is necessary, he sees past the physical, he sees into our souls and that is where we find our peace, where we find his peace and his endless love for us.