Although I have been married to an avid gardener for over fifty years, I am only just beginning to understand and appreciate some of the fundamental principles of horticulture. Yes, I’m a slow learner!
One such principle is that of the importance of regular and systematic irrigation if the plants are to thrive and achieve their full potential. Of course, I have always known that water was an essential ingredient for life and growth, but compared with other parts of the world, I didn’t think shortage of rain was a problem in the UK.
Although I still can’t identify and name more than just a handful of plants, and have difficulty in distinguishing between flowers and weeds, (something which has had me in trouble more than once!) I can connect hosepipes, sprinklers, sprayers, and drippers, all of which in our garden are supplemented with water butts, watering cans, and a soaker hose.
In the Bible water is often used to describe spiritual life. The Psalmist declares, ‘For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see’ (Psalm 36:9). Jesus, when talking to the Samaritan woman at the well about the new spiritual life which was available through faith in Him, says, ‘Those that drink the water I give will never thirst again. It becomes a fresh bubbling spring within them giving them eternal life’ (John 4:13).
Through Jeremiah the prophet, God describes Himself as the fountain of living water, and explains how His people have abandoned Him and ‘dug their own unsuccessful cisterns.’ In other words, they tried to live their lives their own way without Him (Jeremiah 2:13).
Sadly, that is exactly what so many are doing in the world today, trying to find purpose, meaning and fulfilment in a life without God.
As Christians, it is possible for us to become spiritually dry and lose the fervour and fruitfulness we once had. The Scriptures would encourage us to continually draw on that source of life-giving water by spending time with Jesus, praying, and reading His word, deepening our relationship with Him. And so, as Isaiah puts it, we’ll be drawing on the wells of salvation (Isaiah 12:3). For those who do that, and live in obedience and service to Him, God promises to guide them and continually give them water when they are dry and restore their strength. They will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever flowing spring (Isaiah 58 :11).
Isn’t that the sort of blessing Jesus would have us be to those around us?
As the pastor at our church recently asked us, “Are you drinking enough?”
The words of a song by Dougie Brown form an ideal prayer.
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