When We Become Harsh And Prickly

Have you ever spent time in the desert? I grew up in Arizona, and although I love the perfect winter climate and cherished family and friends, I do not enjoy or miss the desert. Deserts are harsh, dry, brown, prickly places. Lack of water will cause that. Animals and vegetation fight for survival. Plants have stickers and thorns to help defend themselves against animals and reptiles hoping to eat them for food and a trickle of hydration.

The one place you will find lush green in the desert is near a water source, such as a stream or a small lake. Near the banks of a stream in the desert the plants are much greener. They often have lush, soft leaves, without the needles and thorns. They have a source of life through the nearby water.

Although the vegetation near the bank of the stream may be green and soft, as you move further and further from the stream, the vegetation becomes more harsh and prickly.

I believe people are like that, too. When we stay close to the Living Water, the Word of God, we are encouraged to:

  • Love God above all else and love our neighbors as we love ourselves. (MT 12:30-31)
  • We are reminded to trust in the Lord with our whole heart and lean not on our own understanding. (Prov. 3:5)
  • We are encouraged to forgive others as we have been forgiven. (COL 3:13)
  • We are encouraged to build each other up and encourage each other. (1 Thes. 5:11)
  • We are reminded that the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Gal 5:22)

As we move further away from our Living Water, we begin to think more and more of ourselves.

  • We believe we are in charge and control of our lives and the world we live in.
  • We think others should think and act the way we want them to and we are disappointed when they do not.
  • We try to solve our own problems without the wisdom and power of God.
  • We begin to doubt the promises that he has never broken in the past 6,000 years.
  • We begin to think we are at the center of the world which revolves around us.
  • We are quick to lose our temper and slow to forgive
  • Our hearts become weighted down with failure, disappointment, and anxiety.
  • The love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…are lacking.

We become prickly.

The Good News is that our Living Stream is still there and anxious for us to return to the place where we can rest in the shade of its peaceful banks.

Dive into the Living Stream!

Splash and play in the cool, clear, refreshing, life-giving waters.

Invite others to join you!

Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!
— Jesus in John 7:37 – NLT