Where are you swimming: Whirlpool or River?
When the Severn River Floods
Living in the beautiful city of Worcester cut in half by the river Severn gives every walker the opportunity to see the meanderings and conduct of a river in flood.
There is a remarkable local section of the River Severn just downstream of the weir where the river actually flows backwards near the bank. Some underwater geography combined with a bend in the river conspire to create an enormous whirlpool where the water bankside is running the "wrong" way.
Further downstream from this big whirlpool are smaller eddies and whirlpools spinning off the large one.
And here is the observation - in each of these smaller whirlpools pieces of debris are stuck for hours or perhaps longer, going around and around in perpetual purposelessness.
While the rest of the river is filled with beautiful clear water, the whirlpool is filled with rotating debris: plastic bottles, branches, bags...
The Debris Trap Heart
Something like this can happen in the human heart. While the Lord is doing mighty and wonderful things in our lives and churches, we can find ourselves stuck in a whirlpool of debris - discouragement, hurt, pain, unforgiveness, and any other hundred pieces of human debris an detritus - completely unaware of the river of goodness all around us.
And Satan would love to keep us there! Not enjoying the benefits and blessings of his mighty flooding river of goodness that he promises will follow us all the days of our lives, but stuck in some tiny pool of bitterness, sorrow or disappointment from the past.
The example of Samuel
In 1 Samuel 16:1 we find an older godly man stuck in the whirlpool of the past. Samuel, the last judge of Israel was instrumental in bringing in the new age of the Monarchy. He was instrumental in anointing the first king of Israel, Saul. But that age was now past. God had a glorious new future in store for Israel - no less than the best king Israel ever had!
But Samuel can't see the mighty river of God's goodness and blessing. All he can see is the whirlpool of the past detritus of Saul's sin, and stuck in the whirlpool round and round he goes!
Wading out of the Whirlpool
The cure to whirlpool woefulness is prescribed by God to Samuel - get off your pity-party sofa, fill up your horn with oil, and anoint my next king. In other words, forget the past and move into the future, or to put it more colloquially, "get with the program."
This is the only cure to all kinds of whirlpool woefulness. To stop moping about the past (and very often a far less golden past than our proud hearts conjure up!) and by the grace of God to move into God's glorious and blessed future.
This is what Paul purposed to do....
This post is taken from our Pastor Roy Summers’ blog, where he discusses and comments on a wide range of current subjects and issues both in the world and in the church.