We had some of our family to visit the other day. They came on a warm day, and brought the dog too. After they had been swimming, the grandchildren (and the dog) were in need of a drink of water. Unfortunately that morning the water main which supplied us from a nearby town had burst, and, as we turned on the tap, the supply dried up and we were waterless. It was some hours later that our supply came on again at a reduced pressure, and the town where the burst happened was without mains water for 3 days.
The water supply company worked hard to sort the problem, which had happened when an enormous pipe almost 1 metre in diameter had broken about 3 metres underground. Roads were closed and houses were flooded by the vast amount of water that escaped and went to waste. Those who needed the water had to watch as it surged past them in a muddy torrent, going down their roads.
It reminded me of how fortunate we are in the Western world, in that so many of us can turn on a tap and good clean water will normally pour out for us. It wasn’t like that in Jesus’ day. Jesus was thirsty one lunch time as He was travelling through Samaria. He couldn’t just go to a tap and get a drink, or buy bottled water from the nearest store (cooled of course!). He had to ask a woman He met if he could have some of the water she had just laboriously drawn up from a deep well nearby.
The woman was naturally surprised at Jesus’ request – strange Jewish men didn’t normally approach Samaritan women to give them water, especially women of dubious reputation. She challenged Jesus and was given a response which has become one of the famous sayings of Jesus: ‘Whoever drinks of the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of living water welling up to eternal life’ (John 4:14). This was to be water with a difference! It would never run out and would have life quality leading into eternity.
It’s easy to take running water for granted, and it’s just as easy to take Jesus’ promise in the same way. I wonder if we really appreciate the Living Water of the Spirit of Jesus in our lives. We may talk a lot about being filled with the Spirit, but what is the evidence that it is so in us? Do other people see the life of Jesus in us, refreshing us and empowering us to do His will? And are we confident that His indwelling will lead us into eternity?
For those of us on mains water, let’s be continually thankful for the blessing of that resource, and let’s spare thought, prayer, and maybe money, to help those who aren’t. But for all of us who are believers, this could be an opportunity to ask ourselves if the life of Jesus is really flowing as it should through us. Maybe we should ask God to reveal any blockages or bursts in us so we can receive healing, and also ask the Lord to turn the tap on more, so we can be truly filled with Jesus’ living water.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the blessings of water. For those of us who benefit from water in our taps we’re grateful for that provision. We pray with those who’re struggling in our world because they have insufficient water for their everyday needs, or who have to travel a long way to find it, and it’s often unclean, and then they have to carry it home again. But we all thank You for Your gift of Living Water – that which refreshes and enables us to serve You through the power and presence of Your Holy Spirit. Help us to keep receiving Your filling every moment of our lives. Amen.
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