For many years, my dad managed commercial real estate properties around Wichita, so I always got an insider perspective on the unusual troubles that plague shopping centers and strip malls. Probably the most talked-about subject was fountains.
In a southern state, having a fountain running year round in the plaza of a shopping center isn’t a problem, but in a state like Kansas where our temperatures usually drop into the teens or lower in the wintertime, it’s a bad idea. But image matters in some shopping centers. So the fountain had to stay on, even if it froze solid.
And it did. Every winter.
The beautiful water stopped flowing down the sculpted levels of the fountain, and it turned to ice. It froze the plaza bricks and made a slipping hazard. And all the insides of the fountain got all messed up. It would eventually be fixed, but for the time that it was frozen, the fountain just sat there not accomplishing its purpose at all.
It wasn’t a fountain anymore. It was just a statue.
Today’s verse is Psalm 36:9.
For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see.
So much of what we accomplish in life depends on where we draw our strength. Where is the source of our life? Where do we get the inspiration, the motivation, the determination to keep moving forward? It’s different for everyone.
For a Christ-follower, it should be God. The Scriptures. Jesus Himself. We should draw our strength and purpose from Him and Him alone, which means we don’t look for fulfillment or satisfaction in things we can buy or wear or eat or sell or earn. We should seek to do something because Jesus said it was good or right. Sure, it’s fine to do something because you want to do it, as long as it doesn’t contradict what the Bible says is true. But as a Christ-follower, I need to be sure that I’m relying on Jesus’ strength to get through the day and not my own.
Otherwise I’m like a frozen fountain. I have a purpose to accomplish, but there’s something wrong with my source. Drawing from my own strength or from culture or from friends or even family isn’t enough to help me get through a day. If that’s where I’m looking, I’ll freeze up.
So don’t be a frozen fountain. Don’t try to draw your strength from sources that will dry up. Look for your life and your motivation in what the Bible says and in what Jesus has done for you.
God’s power and love never gives up, never runs out, and never fails. It’s only with His power that we are truly alive, and He has offered access to it freely. We just have to ask for it and take Him at His Word.