Have you ever poured liquid quickly from a gallon jug to another container? At first, because of the jug’s small round opening, there is—for lack of a better word—“glubbing.” The water pours in glops that splash and then there is a smaller stream and then another glop. Eventually, you pour enough water out of the jug and the stream continues steady and peaceful.
Elementary science taught us that matter must fill all the spaces. So as the liquid is pouring out, air must fill the empty space. There’s not a lot of room for the transfer of air when you are pouring quickly. The opening is small. So there’s a glob of water that gushes out, air rushes in, and then you tip the angle of the jug and plug the hole with tons more water and it’s a jerky, messy process.
So much of life is like this. You begin a new job, task, role—and you have to give something of yourself. But you have to figure out how to breathe while you are working. It’s gloppy at first. You give a lot and take a break and breathe. Sometimes we pour ourselves out so quickly and in such volume, we choke ourselves. Nothing is effortless or seamless. I think back to my days with my first baby and how much harder they felt than early days with my fourth baby—even though I had three others. I had grown accustomed to what I needed to pour out, and how to take breaths, and it looked easier in my more experienced days but I was still giving, giving, giving. And in the midst of it all, I was keenly aware that I had to trust God for the supply of water and air that was necessary for the exchange. I had to learn how to steady my outpouring in order to maintain the air I needed lest I choke or cave in altogether.
I don’t know today what you might have to give away or surrender or sacrifice. I don’t know today what call on your life might make you feel gripped and breathless, desperate for air to keep moving forward, hoping and praying God gives you the life you need to keep going.
But the water jug on my kitchen counter this morning reminds me of this—God is good and faithful. He will give you breath. He will give you His eternal living water—enough to sustain you and to overflow onto others around you. And if you need to quit pouring out for a second to take a deep breath and ready yourself for the next round of service and surrender, God will sit with you in that place and give you breath and encourage you to lean on His shoulder and trust Him. If it’s time to pour, remember He is the source of our strength and our life and He, too, will provide the very resources we long to offer. He is keenly aware of our capacity.
I feel like God is smiling at me today and telling me, “Yes, I am good. And I am with you. And I love you, little milk jug.”
“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4
“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14