“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” — John 7:37 (NKJV)
Those of us living in the drought-parched West developed a new appreciation for water last summer. The snow melt that usually sustains us throughout the hottest months was sparse. It was gone before we celebrated the Fourth of July — a celebration without fireworks because they were banned for fear of sparking wildfires.
Week by week our lawn felt drier and crunchier under our feet as we abided by the water restrictions. I watched the tomato vines dry up in my garden, tied to their stakes like so many scarecrows in a row. What flowers survived in my pots were devoured by the deer that regularly came down from the mountains in search of anything green to eat.
Ranchers sold their cattle because they could neither water nor feed them. Farmers abandoned fields of dying crops.
And then, in the middle of September, it came. A long, soaking, gentle rain that began one afternoon and lasted until the following morning.
The sound of the first few drops hitting the roof confused us. It was a familiar sound, but what was it? It had been so long since we’d heard rain.
Sleep didn’t come easily that night. Not because the symphony of the rain kept us awake, but because it was so invigorating, so welcome, that we didn’t want to miss a single note.
Since living through the driest summer I can remember, every Scripture I read about water holds more meaning for me than ever before. One of my favorite passages in the Bible is the one where Jesus goes out of His way to greet the Samaritan woman at the well. His first words to her are, “Will you give me a drink?‚” (John 4:7, NIV)
The woman was stunned by His request, and we don’t know if she offered him a cup of cool water, but we do know that He told her about the living water only He can provide.
Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.‚” (John 4:13-14)
The older we grow, the more parched we can become, and the thirstier we are for the living water Jesus offers. How blessed we are that in His wisdom it’s never too little or too much, but just the life-giving amount we need.
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