Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
I was so blessed this weekend to speak at the Highland Lakes Women's Retreat on the northern edge of Highland Lakes region deep in the Texas Hill Country.
It was a sweet, refreshing time and everyone was so welcoming.
Between speaking sessions, I had a little time to enjoy the sunshine and walk down a few of the paths in the property. I headed toward the shoreline, to take in the dramatic vistas and the quiet.
As I walked under a warm February sun, interesting markers began to show up along the path. There were signs that listed rules for being in the water, what kind of flotation gear was required, what kind of behavior was expected while on the water.
But the shoreline was still a long, long way off.
There were marked paths for accessing the beach areas, paths that suddenly dwindled and lost their mark in to small fields.
Central Texas has been dealing with a severe drought and the lake levels of many area lakes have dropped significantly. Topography that has been hidden underwater for many years is now exposed. Beaches and lake access areas are now far inland. This particular finger of the lake looks more like a small river, the houses that used to boast a shoreline access now high above the new banks.
As I rounded the curve of trail, I saw something unusual. Peppered across the rolling hills were building structures, open on the sides, roofs sagging, perched at odd angles and in various states of disrepair.
They had originally been anchored at convenient spots in the water, hubs of boating activity, floating garages where ski boats and kayaks and pontoons could tie up after hours of fun in the sunshine and water.
Once the lake levels began receding, the docks were left marooned in a dry sea of weeds.
And there they remain.
Without water, a boat dock cannot fulfill its purpose.
Just like a believer in Christ.
Our faith gives us a structure and purpose, to be beacons of gathering, to be places of launch, to mentor and love and guide people to dive into the waters of life and faith. But sometimes, we allow the dry conditions of the world around us to sap us and then we fail to return to our source of Living Water. We begin to feel dehydrated of joy, dried up. We cling to the structure we know, but that structure, without water flowing through it and around it, becomes an aimless legalism, a boat dock from which no vessel can launch.
So close. Yet purposeless without water.
I stood for awhile in the warm sunshine, looking on those lonely boat docks, listening to what I was being shown. Those docks were within easy sight distance of the current shoreline. But their anchoring kept them tethered to dry places.
I want my anchoring to be in Christ, to be firmly attached to where He is, to where He moves, to where He goes.
Anchored in Living Water.