Just like the Dead Sea?

November 26, 2012 Ezer Kenegdo 0 Comments

A dear friend once told me during a very difficult period in my life that my area of trials is my area of ministry- words which God has proven to be very true over the last few months. More than using our experiences to build others up, God also uses those experiences to build us up. Last week Monday and Friday, I had a series of conversations with a young lady about similar trials we are currently facing. She seemed really down so I attempted to encourage her from my reserve tank of hope, even though I wasn’t feeling too peachy. At the end of the conversation, not only was her spirit lifted, but mine was tremendously lifted as well.

I’d given, but God had replenished more than what I’d given, by using the words He spoke through me to remind me of His faithfulness. I could have wallowed in self pity and we could both have had ourselves a nice pity party talking about how depressed we felt, but instead we both left that conversation with strengthened faith and a renewed sense of hope and trust in what God had said about our various situations.

I’d searched for inspiration to write a story that aptly illustrates the point I’m trying to make, but God felt that something more real would get the point across, so He suggested using the Dead Sea to illustrate my point.

The Dead Sea is one of the most salty bodies of water. The reason for the saltiness is that the Dead Sea has one main body of water flowing into it, and is landlocked on every other side – meaning the water has nowhere to go once it arrives at the Dead Sea. The only way water can leave is through evaporation, but as the water evaporates, the salt that was in the water stays behind, adding to the already enormous amount of salt in the water.

This saltiness is also the reason the sea does not support life. The high salt content causes osmosis to occur, literally drawing water (life) out of fish, thus killing it.

Humans can float very easily in the Dead Sea; however swimming is a different matter. It’s easier to swim in a swimming pool or even the ocean than it is to swim in the Dead Sea. This is because the salt content in the water makes it much heavier than any other body of water on Earth. This heaviness pushes anything that enters it up to the surface, making deep sea diving impossible– the water is just too heavy.

The Dead Sea may not be able to survive for very much longer, because the sea is simply not getting the same amount of water it used to. This is because people have built pipelines that have redirected the water that would once flow to the Dead Sea from the Jordan River; the body of water that gives the Dead Sea most of its water, and forced it to go to other areas. 

How does this apply to us as individuals?
Look at yourself as a sea that gets “poured” into. God expects what He has poured into us to flow out in a manner that blesses others, which could be through our testimonies, words of encouragement, acts of kindness, generosity and show of love, e.t.c.

The default nature of man is “self concern”, with our default language being “I, me, my”. We seek to first be loved before we love. To first be made happy before we make someone else happy. To first be encouraged before we encourage. To first be fulfilled before we fulfil someone else. We want God to do something first before we praise Him. If proper care is not taken, we become like the Dead Sea that keeps taking (both from God and from individuals) without giving out.

God intends for us to be blessings to everyone else. Using my experience again as an example, I could very well have refused to encourage the lady I had the conversation with because I wasn’t in a great place either. I could have had the mindset that how about she encourage me first or maybe waited for someone else to come and make me feel better before I attempted to make her feel better, but somehow I know that if that’s what I had done I wouldn’t have felt as lifted as I did. There was a sense of fulfilment that came from positively impacting someone else’s life as well as the fact that the words that God spoke to her through me reminded me of God’s faithfulness in my life.

How does this apply to marriage/ relationships?

Suzy complains that her husband doesn’t love her and she is unhappy in their marriage. She believes that if only he does this and that for her or changes in this way and that way to suit her needs, then she’d be happy. And so he does - He made the changes she demanded and started doing all she requested, but she still wasn’t happy, neither was she satisfied. Why? Well because:

1. Self Concern (Selfishness and self centeredness)
She cannot be happy in a relationship where the other party isn’t happy? Love by definition is selfless. Like the Dead Sea that sucks the water out of fish, love cannot thrive in a relationship where the life is being sucked out of her partner by her taking and demanding, then taking some more- without giving anything in return.

2. Toxic emotions
Just as the Dead Sea cannot sustain life due to its high salt content, love cannot thrive in an environment where there is a high concentration of toxic emotions like anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, discrimination, e.t.c?

And just as the saltiness of the Dead Sea does not allow deep sea diving, these toxic emotions do now allow for ‘deep’ intimacy within a relationship.

Related article: From Malice to Mercy

The Consequences?

If this pattern of selfishness and self centeredness is allowed to continue, then like the Dead Sea it will get to the point where nothing is ‘poured’ into you because nothing is coming out of you. Pipes will be built to divert the “water” – love, happiness, fulfilment, prosperity e.t.c to more fruitful/ profitable/ beneficial “Seas”.

God is not wasteful, if you are not “pouring out”, He just might use someone else who will.

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