What is your most pleasant memory of water?
Not that you don’t have pleasant thoughts about water anyway – a nice, cool drink of it; a warm shower, a swimming pool on a hot day…
When our pastor asked that question this past Sunday, my thoughts turned immediately to a time when I was in my early teens, and my family used to go on vacation for a week each summer to a lake where some would go fishing, some would go swimming. Mom and Dad went fishing. My brothers and I tried it; I think some of them actually enjoyed it. I didn’t care for it; it was hot, the mosquitoes were biting, and it was boring. I’d rather be swimming, so that’s what I spent most of my time doing.
We used to go to various lakes here in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, some larger, some smaller; some farther away, some closer; some dirtier, some cleaner. My favorite of all, and the one my thoughts turned to when the pastor asked his question, was Lake Darling (I liked to call it a darling little lake!) just northwest of Alexandria, Minnesota. It was a very clear, clean lake, about a mile across and a couple miles in length, but not overly deep. I guess it had some spots that were thirty or forty feet deep, but much of the lake was far less than that. In fact, when I went swimming off the southeast shore, I could go out a couple hundred yards before I couldn’t touch the bottom with my feet! and it was so clear that it was possible to see the bottom over much of the lake. It made for wonderful swimming; and I think my folks probably enjoyed that aspect of the fishing as well. You could drop your hook in and watch the fish come running…er, swimming.
The pleasant memories I have involve the beautiful, clear water and sunshine. I loved how the sun would glint off the surface of the lake, and I even enjoyed how it filtered way down under the water when I was swimming.
One thing I liked to do was go under the surface several feet down, and try to remain motionless, and pretty soon I could see the fish, who normally would avoid coming too close, swimming up near my face to see just who I was, what kind of strange fish I was!
I imagine when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River the sun must have glinted off the water in much the same way, and he must have felt the coolness of the water over his body much as I did. Isn’t it a picture of the grace of God, how it covers us over, and refreshes us, how wonderful it feels?
I think I will probably be writing more of my thoughts regarding our pastor’s series of sermons on the grace of God. It will be interesting to see how he ties in the pictures and memories of water with God’s grace.