A Dirty Pool and a Dirty Heart

I really try not to spiritualize EVERYTHING, but sometimes God just puts something in my path that’s so blatant, I can’t help myself. That happened this morning.

We put in a pool over 11 years ago and have LOVED having it. I am very fortunate that my husband enjoys pool maintenance and my only real pool job has been to swim in it. Yes, I know I’m spoiled. As you may already know about him, he’s an Enneagram 1 so he likes things to be perfect…which includes the cleanliness of our pool. It almost ALWAYS has crystal clear water and if it doesn’t, he’s checking all kinds of things to restore it to pristine conditions as soon as possible.



Over the weekend, he felt that the walls of the pool needed brushing to remove some of the grime that had accumulated over the years. He spent hours working on them and they do indeed look much better. However, the dirt from the walls settled into the pool and within hours the water was a lovely shade of pond water. You couldn’t see the bottom of the pool at all through the cloudiness, which is a rare situation at our house.

I suggested…(okay, I nagged) all day Sunday that we needed to do something fast. My diagnosis was that there was a chemical problem; he continued to say, “It’s just what I stirred up from the walls.” After listening to me reminding (or complaining) for 24 hours, he purchased a product to help make the dirt settle more quickly so it could be vacuumed out. This is what we woke up to this morning.


As I write, the automatic vacuum is working and fast and furiously to remove all of that nastiness from our pool water. We’re out of commission as far as swimming goes for a bit, but optimistic that our water will be cleaner than ever once the job is done.

So, how did I find spiritual application in the pool fiasco?

Over the past few months with so much anger and so many opinions floating around in our world, I’ve been praying Psalm 139:23, “Search me God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” I really want to try to be part of solutions, not problems and I want God’s voice in my life to be the loudest.

As I looked at the nasty dirt that had settled in clusters on the floor of our pool, I couldn’t help but wonder if when He searches my heart does it look something like that? When the dirt was clinging to the walls the water appeared to be crystal clear as if everything was fine, yet when my husband brushed it off and stirred it up, the appearance changed drastically. And then, when the dirt clumped all together, the problem became undeniably evident.

I wonder if the sin in my life is much like that? As long as I’m not dealing with any of it, my life has the appearance that I’ve got it all together. But when I come face to face with my Savior and conviction takes over, I soon realize that how things appear may not be reality in my life at all. And if my sins were revealed the way all of the sediment in the pool was revealed, would my heart be a nasty mess like the floor of our pool was today? I suspect the answer is “yes it would!”

We know from scripture that God doesn’t see things the way we see them. He looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7). When I pray, “search me and know me” He isn’t looking at what you see of me or even what I may see of myself…He sees what is absolutely true. He sees my motives, my pride, my anger, my unforgiveness, my jealousy, and many of the other sins I may struggle with that aren’t evident to the human eye and are easy to hide.

The image of our pool full of such filth is an image that won’t soon leave my mind. One, because, yuck!….who wants to swim in anything that nasty? But two, because it has given me such a great visual to remind me of how sin can overtake me without my

even noticing. I want to repent regularly and ask the Lord to sweep through and clean up my filth as only He can. He suffered on a rugged cross and took on all of my sin so that I can ask that of Him.

What about you? Are there things you might need to confess and have swept out of your heart? “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.

I hope in the next few days to see crystal clear water once again. But I pray that the nasty image sticks with me for a while…it has been an incredibly great lesson for me.



Through On Purpose Coaching I have created the tools you need to develop skills for more intentionality in your life. By providing opportunities for group or individual coaching, online courses, weekly blogs, podcasts, live events, team building seminars, Bible studies and more, I help you improve relationships and live abundantly with purpose. I hope this will become a community of support for you in the days ahead. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram and check out my website http://www.stephanicook.org. Let's connect. I'd love to hear from you!

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© 2019 by Stephani Cook.

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