Monday, December 07, 2009
Current Study: Advent
Today’s Topic: God Is Faithful
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
I love traveling. I get excited about seeing new things in new places. If I had to choose what kind of places I like to visit it would be a tie between the great outdoors and places with historical significance. I loved San Antonio because of the Alamo and the missions, but I also love the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with all of its waterfalls and the Porcupine Mountains. Walking the National Mall in Washington was great, but so was walking as close to the edge as I could at Niagara Falls.
One place I’ve always wanted to go but never have is Yellowstone National Park. Northwestern Wyoming and up into Montana has a certain appeal to me. I would probably sit through at least four cycles of Old Faithful eruptions.
Old Faithful was first given that name back in September of 1870 by members of the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition. They were impressed by the consistency of the geyser’s eruptions. Over the years, the length of the interval between eruptions has increased, which may be the result of earthquakes affecting subterranean water levels.
Old Faithful is more predictable now than ever. With a margin of error of 10 minutes, Old Faithful will erupt 65 minutes after an eruption lasting less than 2.5 minutes or 91 minutes after an eruption lasting more than 2.5 minutes.
Old Faithful is more than just a consistent geyser. In 1994, four probes containing temperature and pressure measurement devices were lowered into Old Faithful. The probes were lowered as deep as 72 feet. Temperature measurements of the water at this depth were 244 °F. What’s amazing is that those are the same temperature readings that were measured in 1942. According to geologists, the reliability of Old Faithful can be attributed to one fact – that it is not connected to any other thermal features of the Upper Geyser Basin.
When I read that last statement at Wikipedia.com, it really hit me hard. Old Faithful is so faithful because it remains independent of other thermal influences that surround it. What a challenge for you and me today as we strive to be faithful to Jesus Christ. We will remain faithful only so long as we remain independent of the influences of the world around us.
Such faithfulness begins deep down in our hearts, where the Living Water flows from the fountain of Christ’s life in us. The Holy Spirit maintains the consistent “temperature” of Christ’s temperament so that we can be faithful in our responses to the influences of the world. As the Holy Spirit moves the Living Water in and through all of the channels and caverns of our deepest thoughts and desires, pressure builds. Not the pressure of stress from unbearable circumstances, but the pressure of praise from the hope of glory the Living Water brings to every area of our existence. It is essential that we faithfully erupt with joy and thanksgiving, shooting our praise high into the heavens.
Our eruptions can quickly change from praise to bitter complaining if we have contaminated the flow of Living Water with worldly influences. When the pressure that builds in our lives is due to a faithless focus on our circumstances, we will erupt with fear, anger, and bitterness. We will become resentful and rebellious. We will become inconsistent, so that those closest to us don’t know what to expect when we begin to spew. The Living Water has been polluted by pride.
So long as we remain uncontaminated by the things of the world, and remain independent of their influences, the Living Water of Jesus Christ will flow though us and erupt in praise to God from the depths of our hearts, no matter what the external circumstances of our lives might be.
I am also challenged by the historical record that indicates that after only a few days or weeks of observation the explorers who discovered Old Faithful were able to give it an enduring name that represented its nature and character. I wonder, after just a few short days or weeks of observing our lives, if others would be able to call us faithful?