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Thursday, April 16, 2009

God Uses Pond Scum

I sat down in my "loft" this morning where I would eventually work on my writing lesson. But first, I popped in Redemption Songs by Jars of Clay. I was listening to their rendition of "I'll Fly Away," and enjoying some worship time, singing along.

I'm not sure what went wrong after that. It began as a normal prayer time just like any other day but toward the end of my prayer, I began to think about pond scum. Now, I don't have a pond, rarely visit any ponds, and mostly never think about them (unless, maybe I see them in a great photograph or something).

The only logical thing I could think of, since I didn't have a pond that needed cleaning, is that I must be the pond scum. Right? What else could one think when she's having a conversation with God and he gives her "pond scum" out of the blue. Just praying – minding my own business – then woop… pond scum, right in my lap.

Here’s how it went down. I was near the end of my prayer and I was thanking God for giving me the opportunity to share a great message he gave me a couple of weeks ago. I had just found out that Christian Online Magazine is going to publish an article I wrote. So the prayer was going something like this:

Thank you, God, for giving me the opportunity to share Your message and for giving me a clear path and confirmation that I am doing what You want me to. I don’t understand why You have spent so much time raising me over the past couple of years or why you would take someone who was just pond scum and choose her to be Your child and spread Your message.

Did you catch it? “Pond scum” right there near the end. I almost didn’t catch myself saying it, but when I ended the sentence, I realized what I’d said and asked, “pond scum… God?” God said, “what?... I can use pond scum.” As I was wondering how in the world God uses pond scum, the researcher in me perked up and began to Google. Here’s what I found out (this is not exhaustive):

  • defines pond scum as any free-floating freshwater algae that forms a green scum on water. There are over 320,500 forms of algae. God wouldn't have made this much of the stuff if he didn't have a reason for it.

  • The first plants on earth evolved from shallow freshwater algae. If God started with pond scum, it must be some pretty important stuff.

  • It's used as nutritional supplements, fertilizers, soil conditioners and livestock feed. God molds the pond scum into other substances and uses the result to nourish something else.

  • The latest buzz on pond scum according to USA Today and many other sources - Pond scum could be an alternative fuel for jets in the near future. If God trusts it to use in an engine as powerful as a jet's, just think of the power your pond scum could have .

  • It can be used for pigmentation or dyes and other coloring agents. God uses pond scum to create beautiful things.

  • It can be used for pollution control (sewage and emmissions). God uses pond scum from one source to remove the bad stuff from another source.

Aha! I am not pond scum, but my sin is and it doesn't go to waste - God uses it. There is an important purpose for every smidgen of pond scum God has allowed into my life. I can use it to feed others in a powerful and beautiful way. Through my testimonies, experiences, redemptions and continuing battles, I can help others remove their pond scum and clear their pond to receive God's great blessings. states, "Whether the problem is pea-soup colored water, thick carpets of green hair, or floating gobs of olive-drab slime, algae are as unsightly and aggravating as their terrestrial counterparts. Wherever there is standing water, light, warmth and nutrients, algae will soon gain a foothold." I say, no matter what kind of pond scum you have battled or continue to battle, don't allow it to gain a foothold in your life, but give yourself the freedom to embrace the versatility of it. God is using mine to feed others, and He can use yours too. Give God the opportunity to mold your pond scum into a commodity others can use.


  1. Sue said...

    That is absolutely brilliant, Karen! Who knew all of God's good in pond scum ;-)

    Congrats too on being published with COM! Very exciting news :-)

  2. Hope said...

    Thank you for sharing your pond scum with me. I am lucky to call you friend.

  3. Melissa said...

    Long before you gave your life to God, Karen, He used you to begin removing the pond scum in my life. I walk closer to Him today because of our lives intersecting when they did. What a mighty God we serve!