Living Water

You Can Live Without Love, But Not Without Water

“Who can keep their head above water, once they have seen their tax bill?” my old neighbor said. He phoned yesterday, and I had told him that there was nothing new our way except our tax bill had arrived to throw a little cold water on our day. Ed, was in too good of a mood to sympathize about tax bills for long as he had been fishing.

Ed’s son-in-law from Edmonton had arrived with a new boat for the long weekend. They camped at Round Lake, and the Qu ‘Appelle Valley was their holiday playground. Apparently, not all the fish got away, but the biggest fish slipped through somebody’s fingers and got free.        

Ed had a lot to say about the fickleness of water. “Water in the fishing lakes is a great treasure but a disaster in your basement. Water is the best friend and the worst enemy a person can have. A farmer’s life is often too little or too much rain. Even bath water is devious, as it will remove your dirt, but leave a nasty ring around the tub. You can live without love but not without water.”

Water certainly is the driving force of our life and in nature. There is no life without water. In the Old Testament, both water and food were needed, when Moses, led the Israelites through the desert to the Promised Land. It was God who provided bread or manna and water daily on their forty-year trip.

When Jesus was on earth, he attended the Feast of Tabernacles one of Israel’s principal feasts which focused on God’s provision in the present harvest; and his past provision in the Exodus or journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. In this celebration, many set up tents and lived in them for seven days as a reminder of being homeless until they reached Cana.

Water ceremonies were an important part of the feast. A priest would draw water from the pool of Siloam with a golden pitcher, then carry it back to the temple and pour into a bowl next to the altar accompanied by musicians and choirs. They would pray not only for rain for crops, and for the outpouring of God’s Spirit.

On the last day of the celebration, Jesus stood up before the crowds and said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” Jesus was saying this about the Spirit who would be given to believers after He was glorified.

Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit as being like living water who would come after his ascension to heaven. Those who believe in Jesus need water to keep them growing and having life in him. The Holy Spirit would water believers with the truth of Jesus. Keep them saturated in who Jesus was and what he did and said. The Holy Spirit would not let them dry up in their trust of Jesus but share Jesus with enthusiasm with others to their blessing. The Holy Spirit came like a rushing wind, with tongues of fire empowering, signs and wonders. The Holy Spirit remains as needed life-giving and renewing water for believers’ souls.

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Raymond Maher
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