For weeks (maybe in excess of two to three months), a main water pipe has been leaking almost a kilometer from where we live. The municipality has sent teams to repair this leak on many occasions, but each time the pipe remains leaking. The leak is a steady stream that dams up the huge hole where the pipes join together and overflow, running towards a storm water drain. Yellow barriers were put around this hole stretching from the pavement into the road. When we returned home yesterday from the funeral, we were without water. After all this time of the leaking pipe, we were never without water … why now?
Our street has a WhatsApp group and the chat there indicated that the municipality was working on the leak, but bolts holding the huge flanges together were broken and the team did not have spares. The chat mentioned that the municipality had turned off the water to save on wastage! Wow … after so much water being wasted for so long … now they want to save water! They would do the repairs tomorrow, which was today. This morning, I filled up two containers of water from the borehole, the 20-liter one for the bathroom and the 15-liter one for the kitchen … after all, one needs to cleanup. This afternoon around 3.00pm, the water was switched back on. It took more than an hour for the pressure to return and then we needed to bleed the system (hot and cold water) to get rid of all the airlocks and brown sand in the water.
Speaking of suburban people, water is as quick as a turn of the tap’s handle away. Yet, for over a day we were without water. This means that no one in the area was able to flush the toilet, brush teeth, bath, shower, wash dishes or do washing. It’s amazing how inconvenient it is when the convenience is no longer available! Although we personally had access to borehole water, many don’t. Christians are very aware that we are totally dependent upon God for water:
Ps 65:9 You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it.
And it reminds you of the Psalmist saying:
Ps 63:1 O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
He uses thirst in a spiritual sense as one struggles without physical water when there is a drought. Spiritual thirst, however, is man’s greatest need … far greater than physical thirst!
You’ll remember reading through John’s Gospel and stopping at chapter 4 where Jesus meets up with the woman at the well in Samaria, at a town called Sychar. A shepherdess came to the well to draw water for her sheep. Jesus asked her for water. Because Jews do not associate with Samaritans because they were considered unclean, the woman is amazed that Jesus actually speaks to her. To her response, Jesus says:
Jn 4:10 “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.”
She did not know that Jesus was the Messiah, the gift of God, asking for physical water. Yet, if she knew this, she could ask for living water (spiritual nourishment) and be given it. But being spiritual dead, she could not understand what Jesus was saying.
Jn 4:11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”
Then Jesus digs deeper in His evangelism saying:
Jn 4:13 “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
You get that He visited that spot on purpose. Although the woman did not know it, she had a divine appointment with the Messiah … and wonderfully He uses the physical water as an illustration to bounce into the spiritual! From experience, we know we remain thirsty irrespective how much water we drink year in and year out. But Jesus has water, spiritual nourishment, that when consumed removes spiritual thirst. Initially, this water is salvation (which this lady received) and thereafter this water is perpetual nourishment of the soul.
Perpetual nourishment means there is a continual thirst for the goodness (grace, mercy, kindness, love, etc.) of God.
Ps 42:1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
The Psalmist is so deep saying “the deer pants for streams of water” (physical) as “my soul pants for You” (spiritual)! Here we see the need, the desperation, to meet with God … but where?
Ps 1:1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
Verse 1 tells us what he does not do, verse 2 tells us what he does do, and verse 3 tells us the results of doing the right thing. He does not mix with wicked people who lead others astray into their sin. Rather, his energy, desire and passion are focused upon the Word of God because that is indeed the “water of life”. This spiritual nourishment is sought perpetually and produces stability (v3 “planted”), maturity (v3 “seasonal fruit”) and sustainability (v3 “does not wither”). Such a person is a person after God’s own heart (v3 “whatever he does prospers”). Jesus provides living water in salvation and living water to sustain the soul throughout life’s journey to glory. Are you making use of this provision?
Almighty God, You who save lost souls, giving them living water to drink that resurrects the soul to life. You further dispense the same life giving water that nourishes the soul, keeping it alive and fruitful and productive through your Word and by Your Spirit. Help me to pant for Your Word and presence day by day. Amen.