Object Lessons

Carrying God's Message

Objects: Rivers and Canals

The thought of my parable to you this morning came to me while I was standing on the bank of what is, I am told, the first canal ever built for navigation. (Lowell, Massachusetts, to Boston.) That thought expressed in Isaiah came to me which says that God will make rivers to flow in deserts.

Just as they build railroad depots near the tracks so large cities and towns grow up near rivers. Farm homes are nearly always located by some stream. But finally, in order to develop more of our land, men built canals leading from a big river, taking some of its water through places where the land was dry. We call this irrigation.

Now, a river flows naturally, cutting its own channel—lazily avoiding rocks and hills—seeking easy going,—just flowing to the sea.

But canals are made. God gave us land to develop and the ability to remove great rocks and tunnel through hills in order to build canals to carry water for its need. Canals have an objective to carry water to where it is most needed.

I'd like to think of myself as a canal—and I feel sure that most of you will build your life as a canal, having a real purpose to carry God's Word and Christ's message to needed places. Doing hard things and sacrificing your own pleasure in order that the whole world may know God and find greater happiness.

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