The Water Pump

Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

I love the way Paul doesn’t just leave us hanging. In verse 31, he spoke of a problem, and here, he gives us the solution. Before, he said, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” But as we all know, that is easier said than done. When we have been hurt deeply, it is hard to let go of the feelings of bitterness, rage and anger that often accompany such hurt. But Paul gives us the solution.

How do we get rid of all those awful things? By replacing them with good things. We replace our bitterness with forgiveness, our anger with compassion, our slander with kindness. And if we keep filling our thoughts with kind, compassionate, forgiving thoughts, if we keep acting on those feelings, eventually we will find that the bad feelings have diminished. They have been replaced.

My dear friend Eileen once gave a wonderful example. She told of an old water pump at her childhood home. She said that a bucket sat under that seldom-used pump, and it was often filled with stale, smelly water, with green sludge on top. But if someone worked long and hard at the pump, clean, fresh water would eventually pour out. And if that person pumped long enough and hard enough, the fresh water would eventually force the bitter, stale water out. After a while, the bucket would be filled with pure, clean, fresh water.

I think forgiveness works that way. Because we are human, we can’t always just “forgive and forget” in one grand gesture. The old feelings come back. But if we just keep on pumping God’s Word, pumping kindness and compassion and forgiveness into our hearts and minds and souls, we will eventually find that the bitterness is gone.

I am so glad that God has provided everything we need to fill our thoughts and our lives up with good things. He is so massive that He will crowd out any bitterness, any anger, any rage, any hurt that threatens to overtake our lives. He is the source. All we have to do is keep pumping.

Dear Father, Thank You for being the never-ending source of Living Water. Please fill my thoughts and my soul up with the kindness, compassion, love and forgiveness that can only come from You.


13 Responses to The Water Pump

  1. April 9, 2008 #

    Thanks for giving us such a clear picture of this process, Renae!

    The truth is (for me, at least) when you are in the middle of trying to deal with something very painful, you cannot see high enough or far enough to ever see your way out of it or feel that it is even possible to get past the hurt. The picture of that bucket — the clean water stirring it up and the nasty scum rising to the top and spilling over the side — definitely a picture worth remembering!

  2. April 9, 2008 #

    Yes, my friend Eileen shared that with me years ago, and I have never forgotten it. She comments on here sometimes, and I’m hoping she’ll pop in with her thoughts on this! 🙂

    I know what you mean about feeling like you’ll never get past it. But I’ve been at that place, and now I’m at a better place. I hope that gives you some hope . . .

    As always, great to “see” you here.


  3. April 9, 2008 #

    hey friend
    thanks for including me in your post–i hadn’t used that story in a while–i’ll have to dust it off! 🙂 i appreciate your reminding me of what it represents!
    love you!

  4. April 9, 2008 #

    You should absolutely dust that story off and use it! It is a beautiful picture of what God does in our hearts.

    Love you too, dear friend!


  5. April 9, 2008 #

    Dear Renae,
    A quarter to seven in the morning in Norway and I’m already getting blessed.
    What a great picture , the old water pump.
    I’m already working on it, I can feel my right arm aching a bit.
    That’s much better than heart ache. It’s working on miracles.

    I should add that I yesterday was able to reconnect with two people that had hurt me, and it felt wonderful.
    I prayed, I forgave in my heart, with the help of God, and God sent me those two different people from left and right midst in my face, and it was quite a woder to feel the wounds were healed.

    Our Lord is never late with his answers.
    From Felisol

  6. April 9, 2008 #

    Oh, Felisol, Thank you for sharing that! It is after midnight here, and I should be sleeping. But I’m so glad I read this!

    Yes, God is so good. He is a miracle worker.

    I like what you said – an aching arm is better than an aching heart.

    Rejoicing with you over miracles!


  7. April 10, 2008 #

    I love the water pump story. And kindness and patience and compassion can sometimes be like under-developed muscles. They’re there, but you have to keep working them to release their full potential.

  8. April 10, 2008 #

    Yes, we have to keep working out those spiritual muscles if we want to keep them tone and fit! Good example, Jackie! 🙂

  9. April 10, 2008 #

    Thank you Renae and Eileen! It is exciting in my mind’s eye to see the pump pumping in the fresh to make the sludge flow out. Who can NOT have a good day with a vision like that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. April 10, 2008 #

    Came back to say there’s a special award over here for you. Did you work out how to get them on yet?!

  11. April 10, 2008 #

    Thanks, Mom, as always, for your constant encouragement. Next post is about you. 😉

    And Jackie, you’ve gone and made me cry! I hope everyone will go see my lovely, special award which I’m too technically challenged to know how to display here!

    Someday I’ll figure it out. I’m saving all my awards on a word doc. until then.

  12. April 13, 2008 #


    I love this post–and your entire blog! This is a wonderful description of the awesome power of forgiveness! I’ve written and published a few Christian devotions, myself–one of which is about forgiving and forgetting. That’s one reason it’s so easy for me to relate to the truth of this post!

    I’ll definitely be bookmarking your site! So glad you stopped by Writer’s Notes, or I might never have discovered it!

    God bless!

  13. April 13, 2008 #

    Thank you, Jeanne! Yes, it is amazing how much freedom lies in the act of forgiveness. Thanks so much for stopping by – hope to see you again soon and often!


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