Dirty Well Water
After our well needed repair we were instructed to have the water tested to insure that it was safe to drink. When the test results came back they indicated that our water was contaminated with bacteria and that we needed to treat the water with chlorine. Following the instructions I uncovered the well, removed the vent plug and poured a gallon of bleach down into six inch well pipe which protruded from the ground. That was not the end of it. Furthermore, I had to circulate the bleach throughout the 350’ of well pipe, turn on all the water taps, showers, etc. until every single one tested positive for the presence of chlorine. Then, after letting it remain in them for at least 24 hours, we were to flush them all until clear of chlorine and again have the water tested. We are awaiting that result. It took only a few minutes to pour that bleach into the well. It took several days to complete the cleansing process.
In many ways this is an illustration of our lives. When we realized our water was contaminated and dangerous we made a decision that we wanted change. This is like when we realize we have been wrong and repent of sin. When I poured that bleach into the well that is like when we accept God’s offer of salvation through Jesus Christ and ask Him to come into our life. At the moment I poured that bleach into the well, all the power necessary to clean it completely was present… but the water coming from the taps was still contaminated. We may have asked Jesus to come into our lives but our habits, language, way of doing business and dealing with others may be corrupted in many ways.
It took far longer to circulate the cleansing power of that strong chemical to clean all of our pipes than to initially get it into the well. In the same way, while asking Jesus to come into our heart makes present within us all the power to change everything, it takes a lifetime of intention and deliberate action working together with God’s Holy Spirit for our lives to become more each day a source of purity and grace in an unclean, infected world.