Legend has it that a man was lost in the desert, just dying for a drink of water. He stumbled upon an old shack—a windowless, roofless, weather-beaten old shack. As he glanced around he saw a pump about fifteen feet away, an old rusty water pump. He stumbled over to it, grabbed the handle, and began to pump up and down, up and down. Nothing came out.
Disappointed, he staggered back. He noticed off to the side an old jug. He looked at it, wiped away the dirt and dust, and read a message that said, “You have to prime the pump with all the water in the jug, my friend. P.S.: Be sure you fill the jug again before you leave.”
He popped the cork out of the jug and sure enough, there was water. Suddenly, he was faced with a decision. If he drank the water, he could live. Ah, but if he poured all the water in the old rusty pump, maybe it would yield fresh, cool water from the well, all the water he wanted. Risking everything, he poured all the water into the pump. Then he grabbed the handle and began to pump. . . squeak, squeak, squeak. Still nothing came out! Squeak, squeak, squeak. A little bit began to dribble out, then a small stream, and finally it gushed! To his relief fresh, cool water poured out of the rusty pump. Eagerly, he filled the jug and drank from it. He filled it another time and once again drank its refreshing contents.
Then he filled the jug for the next traveler. He filled it to the top, popped the cork back on, and added this little note: “Believe me, it really works. You have to give it all away before you can get anything back.”1
Joshua 1:9—“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
What would you have done in the above story? If the man had been stingy with the water, he would have never received the full blessing that the pump could give. How are Christians today stingy with their time? With their money? With other resources? What might you need to risk “giving away” this week that will help you to dive deeper in your service to or relationship with God?
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in that gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” —Theodore Roosevelt2
1Source of the story is unknown.
2Cited from Saddleback Community Church’s Children’s Ministry Values.