Denver, our golden retriever pup, had me worried yesterday. He was sick on his stomach and lethargic throughout the day and evening. Even as all the kids and grandkids gathered for a family dinner last night Denver didn’t want to play – and he always wants to play! Clearly, something wasn’t right. This felt reminiscent of a time when his half-brother (Kristen’s dog, Luke) was ill and needed surgery in order to survive. It was a rough time, and many prayers and dollars later a turquoise pacifier emerged from the dog’s intestines into the surgeon’s hand. The stuck object had to be freed in order for him to survive. Otherwise, he could not take in any food or nutrients for processing. Fortunately he got “unstuck”. Luke is now an active, healthy 3 year old dog.
This morning, Denver got his strength back. He got “unstuck”. It seemed he was heading toward the same situation his older half-brother endured until, during his morning walk, a surprise appeared. Yes, here it is (hosed off for pictures) in all its glory! Denver had eaten (in entirety) a stuffed mouse – red with little green ears and beady eyes. Who knows where he found it?! I was so grateful the mouse made it though to the other side. Otherwise, the consequences could have been dire.
How often we can take things in….and get “stuck” because we don’t have an outlet for them. We can become like the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea does not support life, because it has no outward flow – nowhere to go.
The Samaritan woman was stuck in fear, hopelessness and sin until she met Jesus. John 4:7-15
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”  (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?  Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”
 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,  but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Whenever I am fearful, discouraged, upset or lacking faith I have choices. I can hold these things in and try to carry them myself. Nothing good ever comes from this. I just becomes stagnate and stinky. Yet, if I take these things to Jesus, he, through the living water he gives me, gets me “unstuck”. When I get unstuck, then I can also offer the effects of this living water to those around me. What a great promise that I desperately need and count on.
For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
he will lead them to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”