I don’t know that I have ever experienced as much turmoil regarding water as I have in the last week. Each morning I look out the back window and am anxious to see whether the lake is iced over or if we will be experiencing angry waves all day. For the greatest part of the holiday season we were blessed to see ducks, geese and swans swimming right behind our home each day. The water was calm and it was almost inviting enough to head out back with a fly rod.
And then earlier this week, the weather turned cold and we experienced a mixture of ice and snow. Wind coming from the west blew the cover off the outdoor grill on our deck and the wind howled throughout the night. We awoke to inches of new snow, ice on the trees and the biggest surprise of all – waves slapping up against the timber wall in the backyard. The sky was dark, full of snow clouds yet the water, as cold as it was, had no hint of freezing. I’ve never seen anything like it. Yet, today, with the weather warming there isn’t a wave in sight – in fact, all I see is a smooth coating of fresh ice. How perplexing!
The Scripture is full of all kinds of stories involving water. Imagine how the Egyptians felt as the Red Sea parted for the exodus of the Israelites and then closed in and annihilated the horses, chariots and Egyptian army chasing those who were fleeing under the leadership of Moses. Or how about the time that God instructed Moses to talk to the rock and instead, Moses struck the rock to bring forth water. It was this event that eventually prevented Moses from entering the Promised Land even though God did allow him to see it before gathering Moses up “to his fathers.”
Very soon after that, Joshua was told by God to be “strong and very courageous” as he led the people of God across the Jordan River and entered the Promised Land. And just as when the journey had started many years before, the water stopped and the Israelites passed through to their destination on dry land. Another water based miracle.
The first miracle of Jesus was performed at a wedding feast in Cana. He turned water into wine – and of course, the baptism of Jesus at the beginning of His ministry was another key moment in the Bible dealing with water. It was one of several times that water played an integral role in the presence of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Come to think of it, Genesis 1:1 and the creation story also included all three members of the Trinity as the Spirit hovered over the surface of the “deep”.
I could go on and on about all the incredible stories involving water but there is one that surpasses them all – the fact that Jesus is “living water” and that those who come to Him will never thirst again. In fact, that is our verse for tonight – the invitation to partake of living water. We are told, by Jesus, in John 7:37-39, “On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.”
My encouragement tonight is that if you believe in Jesus, you already have living water – and it can change everything. You will, indeed, never thirst again. My prayer is that each time you notice a stream, or lake, or even the rain, you will recall the divine gift of living water that is available to everyone – they must just accept the free gift of salvation offered by God. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace..