ACTION WORDS

Spiritual Water


by James Dayton
September 2008

 

Let me speak for a moment about water.

As we look around at our world, we clearly see the wonders of God. We come to understand the importance of growth and what nourishes it.

When we see the beauty of a landscape, we look in awe at its wonder, and as the rain and rivers feed the land and make it green, we know that, without it, the world would wither away, dry up, and be void of beauty or life.

As I watched the fires burn across California and looked at the dark charred landscape, it looked as if nothing would ever grow there again, but being from California and seeing many of those fires, I know when the rain comes the charred landscape will become green and plush in no time.

Just as that charred landscape is transformed from death to life, so are we with spiritual water.

In a letter by St. Paul – in I Corinthians 3:6 – Paul planted, Apollos watered, and God gave the increase. As I look back on a life charred with defiance and violence, I can see how people would think that I, James Dayton, was lost forever. But, as spiritually dead as I was, some never gave up. God never gave up. Through a wife’s prayer and a brother’s gift to see past my own barren landscape and his devotion to God, the seed of Christ was planted. But, as life-changing as that was, what came next was just as important: The water. The water.

As a new Christian, I was amazed at how many people reached out. I was watered daily. I grew and God began to give me his increase. When I look back, I can see what those brothers sacrificed for me. Right after my baptism, the devil raged, and Johnny and Stan went to the hole, and brother Dave lost his job. But, in all the madness, those brothers rejoiced.

Their devotion to God and saving others was the purest form of loyalty I’d ever seen. I learned so much from them. Stan shared his life with me, discipled me, and showed me compassion at every turn.

Pastor Buddy taught me what it is to be a Christian man, a Christian husband, and so many others, too, touched my life. God directed Bobby Johnson to me. Two men from totally different worlds; and in his courage he taught me forgiveness. He taught me that in God’s eyes, we are the same, regardless of our pasts. We are one in the body of Christ, and I thank him for that.

Although I’m not with those brothers anymore, I continue to hear of their labors. They continue to water young Christians, and they continue to do God’s work. Their labor for God is never-ending and all-sacrificing, and without their water I would still be that barren landscape.

I urge you brothers: stand up and plant those seeds. Water your brothers with the wonderful word of God and smile when you see his increase. Reap the harvest. Reach out and share your life with someone. Give yourself wholly. And, in doing so, your spiritual water will flow, and the harvest will be great. Water brothers, water.