Friday, April 07, 2006
Water Of Life
Recently it dawned on me how water has been present in many of my most enjoyable experiences while growing up. I used to live in a village between two bodies of water. Less than a mile west of my home there was a river and less than a mile east, there was a creek. Both of these bodies of water merged approximately one mile from where I lived. On several occasions, our parents and family members chose to picnic at one of our favorite locations which was near the river. While the adults set up the picnic area, we kids changed our clothes, and played in the shallow water until we had to come in to eat. When I reminisce about our trips to the beach - I can actually smell the salt water from the sea -- ah, such pleasant memories. As a result, today when someone says let's go to the beach, I always picture the sea, and am sadly disappointed when I remember that the only beaches we can go to here in the Midwest, have cool lake waters. Unfortunately, these don't satisfy me.
You know, we use water for myriads of reasons such as to wash ourselves, and our cars, do our laundry, cook and hopefully to drink. Water in the form of rain irrigates our lawns, gardens and yes, even the weeds. We need water in order to live, and thankfully it is usually present.
Maybe one of the reasons the Holy Spirit is compared to water, is His omnipresence. His presence surrounds us, and if we allow, flows in and through us to divinely orchestrated acts of love. Other reasons scripture may compare the Holy Spirit with water certainly are not limited to but include the fact that the Holy Spirit is life giving as is water, He is a cleansing agent, as is water, and finally He comforts, and soothes, as does a warm bath on a cool day. Water is an entity that we as humans cannot produce and yet it is a necessity for our basic survival. Likewise, we cannot produce the Holy Spirit. Sure we can attempt to imitate His power and force ourselves to do the things we're not gifted to do, but for our basic survival -- our basic salvation, we must depend entirely on Him. It is a fact, without water we'll die, and without the Spirit we have no life. Folks, are we drinking deeply from the well of the water of life? Christ is the only source from which we receive this water. Let's read what He says in John 7:37-39 --
John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.
John 7:38 He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
John 7:39 (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that
Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Many of us drink plenty of water on a daily basis, but not one drop of that water flows from the river of living water. So, we continue to thirst, and thus it couldn't be possible that Christ was talking about the natural act of drinking earthly water. Then what was He referring to? Well, according to the text, Christ was referring to the spiritual refreshing and sustaining which the Holy Spirit brings as He possesses the recipient. As we thirst for righteousness, Christ pours the water of His Spirit upon us. When we receive the Spirit -- like water, He overflows our lives, quenches our thirst, and brings untold blessings in His wake. Thus all who not only come into contact with us as we possess the Heavenly flow, but drink deeply of the same drought as we've drunk, also find hemselves refreshed, and their thirst quenched.
Water not only serves to quench our thirst, but is a lubricant to our joints as well as our intestinal tract. Capable of regulating our body temperatures, water also acts as a solvent for various chemicals, fibers, and lipids (fats). Which of us can say that the Holy Spirit is not a softening agent, who makes smooth the rough edges of our lives? Which of us can say that the Spirit has not absorbed some of that hot anger that nations and people in our world dish out? Who can say that the Holy Spirit has not dissolved some of our disagreements and misunderstandings into things we now can laugh about? Who can say that the Holy Spirit has not helped them acquire a taste for Godly things? Probably very few of us can answer these questions in the negative. It is God who in His love and mercy is inviting us to drink of the Holy Spirit from His ever-flowing fountain. He's promised that if we drink, we will not be disappointed. I think He's safe to trust. Don't you?
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