With much excitement and a little trepidation, we purchased our first ever 15-foot above-ground pool earlier this year…in fact already in March before the price quadrupled!
Knowing that cleaning and maintenance was not exactly my forte, I vowed to reform my ways once the pool was up.
The children loved the beautifully clean pool. We diligently cleaned the filter every day, topped up the little chlorine dispenser and did regular PH tests. The chlorine level was rather low so we piled in more tablets, but the water still looked fine.
After a few weeks, the pool, which was consistently low in chlorine, was starting to feel a little slimy and slippery, and the walls and bottom looked brown. ‘But maybe that was normal’, I reasoned to myself. And it still looked good from the outside, so we just let it be and piled more chlorine tablets into our tiny dispenser.
Then, our long-awaited solar pool cover finally arrived. We put it on to keep out the debris, and a few hot days later we finally took off the cover again, only to discover that the pool had turned completely green, except of course for the brown walls!!
Panic set in! My husband Carl rushed off to a pool shop and returned laden with pool shocks galore and a heavy-duty scrubbing brush. As I was scrubbing away at the pool, I deeply regretted not paying attention to the warning signs and intervening much sooner. I realized that the tiny chlorine dispenser just wasn’t big enough to chlorinate the whole pool (and promptly ordered 2 new, bigger ones!). The chlorine test had been indicating it for a couple of weeks but we just hadn’t taken it seriously enough!
I compared the situation to our Christian walk. How easy it is to just passively observe our weaknesses and sins, our ever more distant relationship with God, hoping things will improve by themselves, or vow to start changing “tomorrow”. How easy it is to still expect spiritual growth while spending a “tiny” amount of time with God. How easy it is to be content to keep things hidden as long as we still look like blue, crystal clear water on the outside.
If we want to grow in our faith, we are not given the option of passively allowing our sins to grow and multiply. Instead, we are commanded to put on the armor of God and fight. Ephesians 6:13 says: “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand”.
So what does “fighting” look like for me?
- Putting down my phone, no matter how interesting it is and no matter how tired I am, and opening up my Bible and getting on my knees in prayer
- Attending church, Bible Study, and Growth Group, where I learn more about God and find support, encouragement, and accountability
- Praying with friends on a regular basis (James 5:16)
- Being honest with others and opening up about my struggles
- Going out of my comfort zone to serve, knowing that God’s power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9)
The sooner we start fighting, the easier it is. The longer we wait, the harder the battle. We have been given the promise “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8-10)
Finally, we should also be aware of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who may look like “clear blue water” from a distance but maybe struggling inside. Let’s strive to move beyond the superficial small talk to really get to know and come alongside each other so that we can truly build each other up as the body of Christ.
Sarah LeKaye and her husband, Carl, have been members of GRC since 2012. She has led the women’s Bible Study and is currently an active participant.