What Has God Done To Keep Me In His Story?
09.04.22 | Articles, The Shepherd's Voice | by Sam Maconachy
God’s Word is the story of all things. How things came to be and continue to be because of Christ. When we immerse ourselves in God’s story, hearing, reading, and inwardly digesting it, we will notice something quite extraordinary: Our Creator uses ordinary, every day things to make Himself known in our lives. The most common and pervasive thing known to us that He uses most is water. Our adult bodies are made up of around 60% of it. 71% of the earth is filled with it, and if you were to do the math (someone did apparently) it amounts to more than 326 million trillion gallons of water. We use it everyday; we brush our teeth, flush the toilets, wash our hands, wash our cars, wash our food, do the dishes. We need it everyday in order to survive. Water is needed to sustain life, it is necessary for cleaning, and it’s powerful enough to transform any terrain (e.g.. Grand Canyon). Maybe then it’s no wonder why when anything significant happens in God’s story, we see time and time again water being involved.
The obvious Bible stories come to mind. Noah and the cleansing flood. Moses and the Red sea drowning hard-hearted Pharoah rescuing Israel from slavery. Jesus’ Baptism at the Jordan by John. But consider ones just as significant that we usually don’t immediately call to mind. God providing water in the desert at Marah (Exodus 15:22-27). Jesus and the woman at the well (John 4). Christ healing a blind man (John 9). Our Lord washing the feet of His disciples before He was betrayed by one of them (John 13). The water and the blood flowing out of our crucified Lord’s pierced body (John 19:31-37). This very prevailing and pervasive substance is also the thing God uses to claim you in Holy Baptism.
With God and His people at Marah, the Lord sustained life for them even in the desert. This also is you. In your Baptism, through the water and God’s promise attached to it, the Lord sustains you in the saving faith even when your surroundings are bleak.
With God and Him meeting the woman at the well, Christ provided a transformed / new way of life in offering her living water that quenches all thirst. This too is you. In your Baptism, Christ the living water has transformed your life from one of eternal death to new eternal life.
With the Lord healing the blind man, God cleansed this sinner of his blindness and provided true healing and peace. You are this man; your baptism has washed away your sin and you are healed.
With Jesus washing the feet of His disciples, He washed away the dirt to make them clean for service. “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news” (Romans 10:15b) indeed. You are His disciple. In your Baptism, Christ has washed you, prepared you, connected Himself to you to go out and serve. Preach the Good News.
It was by the pouring, shedding, and letting out of the water and blood of Jesus on the cross that all was finally finished. The fight over Satan, sin, and death has been won in Christ’s death and resurrection. The Lord Himself has wrapped you up in this complete victory in your Baptism. By the water and the blood.
How wonderful water is for its ordinary uses. How marvelous our Lord is that He chose this very thing to be the extraordinary means by which He brought us into His story of life and salvation.
So perhaps the next time you turn on the faucet…swim in the Gulf or in a pool…see and feel the rain coming down from the heavens…yes maybe even when you flush the toilet…give pause. Take a moment to close your eyes. Cease from whatever it is you think you need to do next. Breathe. Remember. Bring to mind what God has done for you with the very ordinary water He created. He claimed you. He cleansed you. He called you. The Lord keeps after you. Christ is in all things and certainly with His promises to you in Holy Baptism.
Held together in the water,