He who believes in me out of his innermost being will flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38)
Most trout-fishermen know this beautiful quote by Robert Traver from Trout Madness:
“I fish because I love to. Because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful, and hate the environs where crowds of people are found, which are invariably ugly. Because of all the television commercials, cocktail parties, and assorted social posturing I thus escape. Because in a world where most men seem to spend their lives doing what they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion. Because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed, or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility, and endless patience. Because I suspect that men are going this way for the last time and I for one don’t want to waste the trip. Because mercifully there are no telephones on trout waters. Because in the woods I can find solitude without loneliness. … And finally, not because I regard fishing as being so terribly important, but because I suspect that so many of the other concerns of men are equally unimportant and not nearly so much fun.”
A beautiful waterway is good for your soul. Once in the fall of the year I spent an autumn evening on such water in northern Michigan. After a trip to Traverse City for a hospital call, I drove back down Michigan 37 into Baldwin. I put on my waders and spent an hour fly-fishing the White River as the sun slipped down the sky.
I was fishing for trout but it was a sweet time to be on the River because the White River is tailwater… it’s is spawning grounds for the great Salmon that come inland from Lake Michigan to lay their eggs. There was a cool, seasonal crispness in the air. Someone was burning wood and someone somewhere else, leaves. There were leaves on water running fast and clear over rocks. The river that night was clear, pure, cool, and fresh, and the air was fragrant.
Such is a life that has the continual fresh water of grace flowing into it because it is not dammed up by stubbornness and sin. This is what Jesus said about those of us who would have the Holy Spirit living within us and allow Him to work–or flow out of us unhindered. Don’t be stubborn and unwilling to change or grow. Don’t cut people off when they are trying to help you see a blind-spot in your life. If you humble yourself and allow the Spirit to flow unhindered from your life the work of God will flow fresh and unhindered out of the deepest part of you.
Bethel Church–Jackson, Michigan
July 9, 2018