“…for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters.” (Revelation 7:17a)
Water. Such a luxury.
When my mom was a toddler in the 1930s Depression, my grandparents had to move to a rustic house in Appalachia…with no running water. But my grandfather knew of a cave/sinkhole just up the hill, and water gurgled somewhere deep inside of it.
With a friend’s help, my grandfather lowered himself on a rope through the cavern ceiling and shoved a pipe into the cave wall where the spring emerged. From there, he piped crystal-clear mountain water down to the little house so my grandmother could cook and clean.
I am guilty of frequently taking water for granted in modern America. All I have to do is turn on a tap or open a bottle, and voilà! Instant thirst-gratification. Not only that, our east Tennessee mountains are dripping with water. Abundant streams, waterfalls, and lakes are only a short walk or drive away.
Too many other people around the world, however, live where water is scarce or contaminated. They walk great distances every day to carry heavy containers of water back to their families. It’s a huge burden. But the utter necessity demands this effort…water makes up 55 to 60 percent of our bodies.1 We need it desperately—to drink, to clean, to immerse ourselves. There is no substitute.
On our recent trip to Israel, my husband and I observed the importance of water in a dry, desert land. We visited the rocky plateau-pinnacle at Masada, where King Herod I built a grand palace-style fortress with baths, a swimming pool, and cisterns that held water transported from nearby wadis (streams or water channels). Herod wanted to make sure he and his family, guests, and servants were equipped with an abundant supply of water, in defiance of the unforgiving landscape and the forces that could possibly come up against them.
We toured cisterns and tunnel systems below Tel Megiddo and Jerusalem, designed to capture and preserve water. We saw other towns built on abundant water sources, including Tel Dan and Caesarea Philippi. Members of our tour group boated on the Sea of Galilee, sloshed through streams at En Gedi, and were baptized in the Jordan River. Our guides kept us well-hydrated with bottled water as we walked through arid places.
Water is mentioned 722 times in Bible.2 It played a prominent role in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. His first miracle, at the wedding in Cana, involved water placed in stone waterpots that were set apart for ritual purification—Jesus transformed the water into wine for wedding guests to drink. It was prophetic of the way He would pour His purifying Spirit into believers, for joy and gladness.
Jesus spoke of “living water” to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4). His disciples were baptized with water, and He washed their feet from a basin. Among Jesus’ last words, as He was close to death on the cross, were these two—“I thirst” (John 19:28). Jesus knew the cleansing value of His Father’s life-giving water and experienced the desperate lack of it.
How thirsty are you right now? The very thought, as I write this, makes me want to grab a glass. But earthly water doesn’t permanently slake our thirst. Within a short time, we crave it again. The Psalmists describe us as a “dry and thirsty land,” longing for the presence of God. Like the woman at the well, we yearn for living water from a well that never runs dry.
Jesus, knowing our need, gives us this hope in one of His last promises: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37b-38)
When we drink deeply of His Spirit, His love, and His grace, we find that we thirst no more. His presence is sufficient. His abundant life satisfies us. His strength keeps us going.
Next time you’re slugging down a cup of water—whether it’s simply from a faucet or disguised in a cup of coffee—remember that Jesus Christ is your living water. Come to Him, and thirst no more.
Father God, Creator of water and all other life-giving elements, we praise You for Your provision of the essential needs of our life. Slake the thirst of our souls with Your abundant waters of truth, righteousness, and faith. Let us overflow with Your love so that others will crave Your salvation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
March 22 is World Water Day, hosted by the United Nations to promote awareness of needs for access to safe water. It’s a good day to sponsor building wells in at-risk communities. Here are three options for you:
- Purchase merchandise from MudLove, dedicated to building wells in Central African Republic (https://www.mudlove.com/pages/our-story).
- Give to Samaritan’s Purse, whose workers drill wells, hand out water filters, and create community water supplies (https://www.samaritanspurse.org/our-ministry/gift-catalog/?cat=create-access-to-clean-water)
- Donate to Compassion International, which provides wells, water filters, and training for good hygiene (https://www.compassion.com/catalog/donate-water-wells-charity-gift.htm)
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© Copyright 2023 Nancy C. Williams, Lightbourne Creative (text and photography)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
To learn more about the grace of Jesus Christ, go to this page: https://lightbournecreative.com/good-news-for-you/