Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Then he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and behold, the water was trickling out on the south side. … And he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river. As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. And he said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the sea; when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh.” ~Ezekiel 47:1-8
Prophets like Ezekiel are not always easy to understand, and it is not always easy to understand how God replenishes souls either. Our home sits above the Stanislaus River so I am able watch the flow of water change throughout the year. During this Replenish series I have paid more attention to the river and have given thanks for the many ways I experience God’s renewal in my soul and ministry.
Sometimes there is a correlation between God’s replenishing and a spiritual practice like fasting or prayer or worship or reading God’s word. In some seasons, souls are replenished by a steady life-giving flow of God’s Presence. However, during other seasons, souls feel as brittle as a dried up fall leaf and thirst for God’s presence.
If you have been wondering how God will replenish your soul, I encourage you to keep paying attention. God led the prophet Ezekiel along the bank of the river, and God is leading you to fresh waters. And as you watch and wait, God will, in a way most meaningful to you, come and reveal to you what is happening in your soul. God is always at work in our lives.
Today I am thankful that as a spiritual director I joyfully witness God at work in individual’s lives. But I am also grateful that collectively our stories create a flow of replenishing water that brings healing to others. Just as God showed Ezekiel refreshing water flowing from the threshold of the temple, may our stories continually reveal a fresh, healing flow of God’s goodness and mercy.