November 8, 2007

The Water of Life

Water lately keeps coming up in conversation and the news. Today’s newspaper mentions water shortages, water additives, and water sources. Water purity concerns me as I sometimes struggle with allergy-related problems. Some buy spring water out of snobbery but I buy it so I can breathe well after I have a drink.

My husband predicts that someday people will fight over water, maybe even kill their neighbors. He could be right. It has happened in the past. Water has always been a vital commodity.

Water serves many important functions. Besides being useful to keep our bodies clean, it also hydrates them. I know that if I do not drink enough water, I feel tired and toxic. Water puts out fires, and nourishes plants and animals. Besides those necessities, water is fun to play in, and we enjoy it in rivers, streams, oceans and waterfalls.

The Bible’s description of creation starts with water. Genesis 1:2 says, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

The next verses tell how God divided the waters, then made dry land appear. In chapter 2, it says, “Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads.” Obviously, then as now, water is vital to life.

Most of us know about the “still waters” of Psalm 23 and how even the image produces a sense of peace and well-being. Water is also used as a symbol of cleansing throughout Scripture.

The Bible ends with reference to water too. Revelation 22 begins with, “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.

In the Bible, water is a necessity of life, but also a symbol of never-ending life. We cannot live without H2O so it makes a perfect illustration of our need for eternal life.

I’ve not done a theme Bible study on water, but I can think of many verses about the seas, rivers, and water in general. One of them is Jesus’ invitation in John 7:37-38, “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘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.

These words are obviously not literal, yet as I think of what literal water does for me, I’m reminded that I need also to drink deep and often from the Giver. I know that the more He uses me to refresh others, the more I need to replenish my own supply.

To make this practical, today I’m going to use water as a reminder of how much I need Jesus. As I drink deeply from my water bottle and then refill it that will prompt me to think about Him. I need to talk with Him, draw my strength from Him, and be thankful that His supply never ends. He is like an artesian well, springing up and overflowing, sparkling crystal clear—my Refreshment and my Source of this life and the life to come.

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