By Melissa McLaughlin
Have you ever felt the innermost part of your soul drying up and withering away? Like a plant left too long in the sweltering summer sun. Like a streambed gone too long with no replenishing rain. Like a person walking miles in the desert with a parched mouth and no water bottle to moisten the thirsty body.
In each case, the plant, the streambed and the person need an outside water source to bring refreshment and revival. When water is scarce, how quickly we recognize our urgent dependency on this life-giving commodity. Water is critical to our daily existence, for drinking, washing and the growth of plants which we eat. Clearly, water is a vital source of all life.
When we consider the story of Jesus and the woman at the well, we see the importance of water, both physically and spiritually.
John 4:7-14 – A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
A spring of water welling up to eternal life.
A spring of water.
What is so special about a spring? A spring is very different from a well. Wells are humanly constructed water sources. A well consists of a hole in the earth, dug deep enough to eventually reach water. Human effort is required to dig the well and human effort is required every time a bucket is lowered into the well to access the water far below.
A spring, on the other hand, bubbles up from the earth independent of any human touch, engineering or imagination. If you have ever seen a mountain spring, it bursts forth from the ground offering the refreshing water of life with no apparent end in sight. So refreshing is this spring water, filtered and cooled by God’s own earth.
Well water and spring water. One human-made. The other God-made.
While Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the human-made well, Jesus offered her a God-made source of water, pointing her to a God-given wellspring of never-ending life. Spiritual water from the Source of all life to satisfy the spiritual thirst deep within each of us.
As we look around at our world today, it seems with each passing day another withering wind of doom sweeps over us. Sickness, death, loss of jobs, loss of human contact, loss of ties with family and friends, loss of in-person worship with our church family, loss of emotional connections, loss of food, even a loss of the very oxygen we breathe. Much of what God has designed for human beings to exist and enjoy is being diminished in one way or another.
However, as followers of Jesus Christ, in the midst of this scorching news of despair, we have good news of invigorating new life! Not only did our Savior lay down His life for our sins, so that we are forgiven and promised a place in heaven, but we are also blessed right here, right now.
Believers are filled with the Living Water of the Spirit of Christ!
The indwelling Holy Spirit is a spring of water welling up to eternal life!
Though Satan desires to steal, kill and destroy, we have a God-originated source of life-giving water that bubbles up from within to refresh, revive and splash out, showering Living Water on those around us!
Take heart my friends, no matter how blistering the heat of evil in this world, we do not have to seek an external form of rejuvenation. No buckets, no basins, no wells. We possess an internal God-filled fountain of refreshment and replenishment, an indwelling God-made source of unending hope, truth and love that transcends every trial we face in this world.
Drink deeply of the Living Water today! Drench yourself in the reading of God’s Word, prayer and songs of praise and witness the Living Water of Christ rise up strong within you! Be refreshed, be revived, be restored and let it splash out onto the drooping, wilting world around you!
John 7:37-38 – On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
Isaiah 12:3 – With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Isaiah 58:11 – The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Revelation 22:17 – The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
On a recent walk in the woods, I happened upon this little forest spring. You can see the water bubbles up on its own with no other source flowing into it!
Enjoy the sounds of a bubbling forest stream.