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There’s Sludge in My Pond!

sludgeMy husband and I are renting a house that came with a fish pond, 2 koi, 4 goldfish, and 2 waterfalls. I have thoroughly enjoyed the water feature these past three months and dropping pellets every day is no trouble. I’ve even begun to tell the fish apart. The big orange koi always gulps two or more pellets at a time. The white koi, true to its name, always seems a little bashful. Of the 4 goldfish, the smallest one has been interesting to watch. It pops out of the water like his brothers and sisters, but never seems to catch the pellet on the first try.

We’ve had a rainy winter and the pond was quite full. About a month ago, I noticed that the water color had started to turn greener. I had remembered the owner telling me that the pond would change as it started to warm up. I was having difficulty seeing the fish and decided to take a water sample in to a local pond shop. I was told that the filters were working fine, but I should consider a cleaning down the road.

The pond water was getting progressively greener and I noticed scum on the sides. When the waterfalls were turned off, the scum would colonize like lily pads on the surface. By now I’m worried. I called the shop two weeks in a row and left messages. The third week I made a point that it was my third time and I really needed help. I received a return call and finally have an appointment set for cleaning this week.

I need to digress… Three days ago I suffered a slight hearing loss in my left ear due to a very low pressure system. I assumed it was due to some sort of allergy and congestion. Although my sinuses seemed fine, there was pressure built up in my Eustachian tube. What was so strange was the fact that I could hear “background” sounds as clear as day… air conditioners, motors, even the water in my neighbor’s pipes! Jim encouraged me to take Friday off. I did and it was wonderful to sleep in. Since I had some backyard time, I went out to study the pond again. I could have kicked myself when I realized that I hadn’t added fresh water for quite some time. I had just assumed that the heavy rains had filled it enough. Well, it’s a black bottom pond and with the green water, I just didn’t realize how low it really was. So, I added some water and noted some dark guck in front of a rock. I moved the rock and oh, boy, you should have seen the black sludge that came out from under it… gross! Now I panicked. I’ve made it worse! All I could do was to offer a prayer that the fish would live for another week.

So what’s the point of this story?

Well, I’ve been asking the Lord to take the “black stuff” out of my heart… those yucky thoughts about people or circumstances that really aren’t Christ-like. I knew those thoughts had no place in a vessel of God, which is supposed to be fit for the Master’s use. As I was talking to Him about it this morning, He reminded me of the sludge in the fish pond.

Our hearts are kind of like this pond. There needs to be a certain level of water (love) for it to circulate properly (love flowing in and flowing out). The waterfalls (Holy Spirit urges) stir the water and cause it to move (ex. don’t let the sun go down on your anger), keeping the pond fresh and the fish healthy. On the surface (what the world sees), everything looked fine — a little green perhaps, but basically fine. But when I lifted the rock (hidden sin), scum and sludge (unforgiveness, spite, disappointment, etc.) came out, making the pond water darker still with the gunk just uncovered.

How does one treat a dirty fish pond?

  1. The fish have to be removed to a tank filled with pond water.
    The Holy Spirit wants to keep me safe, but set me free from besetting sins. He convicts, not condemns.
  2. All the water must be drained from the pond.
    The best way for me is to pour out my heart and expose it to His examination.
  3. The concrete and rocks must be thoroughly scrubbed.
    Those areas that need work will need prayer, the Word, and perhaps some fasting.
  4. Add fresh water to an appropriate level.
    Once cleaned, the Holy Spirit will fill me again with His anointing.
  5. Add a few drops of chemical to dechlorinate and stabilize the water for the fish.
    The Blood of Jesus… all we need is one drop.

Prevention from Further Sludge & Scum

  1. Install an ultraviolet light to kill bacteria.
    Develop a daily exposure to Jesus’ light.
  2. Add clean water regularly.
    Daily washing by reading the Word.
  3. Add some “bottom feeders” fish that thrive on algae.
    Trust that God will add the grace needed for purity.

One closing thought. Remember the miracle of the loaves and fishes? The disciples could only find a few of each. And yet, after Jesus had blessed them, there were enough to literally feed thousands, with leftover baskets to boot! In the natural, I really want my inherited fish to live and prosper. But in the spiritual, it would be the “ultimate” delight, if in me, there was even one miracle that would bless people and glorify God.

So, what’s under your rocks?

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