Priming a pump is important.
I grew up in a rural community in South Carolina. One of my favorite parts of the week was visiting my paternal grandfather after church. Mom and I would leave church on a hot Sunday afternoon after hours of Sunday school and worship and drive down a long dirt road toward my granddad’s house.
My grandfather often sat on his porch, sometimes entertaining other men from the neighborhood. In my Sunday best, consisting of some sort of frilly dress, lace socks, and shiny patent leather shoes, I’d sit with my grandad and chat about my week.
Every so often, I’d venture out back to his old pump. My dad had taught me how to prime the pump if I ever wanted water. The key was that the previous person who got water had to leave some water in the cup. That way, the next person could pour a little water in to get more water out.
Finding an empty cup meant going inside Grandad’s house to locate some water for priming. We knew water was in the well—ample water. We knew we could get what was available, but we had to put something in to get something out.
During prolonged periods of anxiety, uncertainty, grief, and expectation, I wonder how frequently we find an empty cup. How often do we run on empty, only to show up for others with nothing to prime our pump. Nothing for our worship time, our family, our friends, or the believers and seekers we walk alongside.
Sometimes, we are faced with challenging seasons and no concept of when these seasons will end. As my days run long and my hours few, I am reminded that to replenish myself or anyone else, I must have something in my cup. So, I anchor my days in prayer. I engage in healthy and heart-fueled community. I meditate on God’s words day and night so that when He presents me with an opportunity, I am equipped and replenished … ready and available to prime the pump.
Make it your prayer that the water that comes from your well nourishes those you serve, fills them to overflowing with the light of Christ, and fuels their desire to grow closer to God.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
Sabrina T. Cherry is an Assistant Professor of Public Health at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. You can read more about her work and service at https://sabrinatcherry.com.