Essential for Life
Everybody’s got a water story. In this issue of Faith & Fellowship alone, we hear about the power of ocean waves, the wonderful benefits of clean water from new wells in Chad, and the danger of water that appears to be safe but is actually poisoned.
Over the last few years, our writers have shared their experiences following the devastating tsunami that struck northern Japan and the destructive Hurricane Sandy that battered the US East Coast. We read about the impact of the Souris River flood on Minot, North Dakota and—on the individual scale—a near-drowning in frigid water below the ice of a frozen Minnesota lake.
The stories are dramatic. Thinking back, I realize that I also have had memorable water-related experiences, some wonderful and some frightening. If you take but a few moments to think about it, you will realize that you have your own water stories. And if you think about recent conversations you’ve had, you will realize that we tend to share our water stories often.
In the last few weeks, I’ve heard people recall their terror at being caught in an ocean wave or being carried off by a riptide. A prairie-born non-swimmer described his fear of water. A farmer discussed contrasting spring snow melts: one year the fields are slow draining and it’s impossible to seed the crop in time for the required growing season, the next year the snow melts at just the right pace so that the crop can get a good start.
We’ve all got our water stories. We can’t live on this planet without having water stories. In fact, we can’t live at all without water. It’s essential for life.
Jesus said to the woman at the well, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” (John 4:10). Later, at the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus shouted, “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” (John 7:37b-38). In the book of Revelation, we are given a picture of eternity for believers: “For the Lamb [Jesus] at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water’” (7:17a).
We need water to maintain physical life and health. The earth itself depends on water. Our many water stories give us insight into the living water that Jesus offers. Our spirits must drink from Jesus’ Spirit through faith in him, or we have no spiritual or eternal life.