After doing the lawns today Jenny asked me whether I was going to water the garden and lawns. I said I was intending to do it later in the day when it started to cool down. Then I decided to check the weather app and found a 90% chance of 20-40 mm of rain in the late afternoon. I changed my mind about watering and from just after 3pm we had thunder, lightning and a storm. In fact 2 ½ hours later the rain was still falling quite hard. I was so happy about the rain as it saves not only watering but the electricity for the borehole pump. My opposite neighbor is in Cape Town for a wedding, so I sent him a message saying: “Good news. God is watering our gardens.”
There is a negative as hail, wind and water have caused damage in some areas. You might have seen the TV news report showing how a Petrol Station’s roof over its pumps collapsed on a small bus and taxi. Many people, particularly in Squatter Camps, have once again had their shacks ruined and possessions destroyed. This is our rainy season, and it is expected that we have these seasonal storms with flooding and other damage happening in certain areas of our region.
Water has positive and negatives effects for us as people. It is vital for our survival. Without water to drink, we will die. It is the basic ingredient to milk, tea, coffee, juices and other cool drinks. It is needed when cooking and cleaning. Yet when storms and flooding happen, it destroys homes and at times there are drownings. Today’s storm knocked down a huge Jacaranda Tree causing it to fall, taking the electrical cables with it in Nico Smit Street.
When you think water, you cannot bypass the Genesis Flood and the devastation it caused because of human sin and rebellion against God. Thinking water, we are reminded about God closing the Red Sea on the “Egyptian Defense Force”. When thinking water, we are reminded of deadliest ever Tsunami and Earthquake that destroyed whole villages in 2004. As much as water is provided by God for our benefit, including all animals, when we add storms and other disasters we start to understand that it is in God’s permissive will that He permits things to happen that we might not like or enjoy.
But there is another story to remember when thinking of water, and that is the account of when Jesus went the long way to Galilee through Samaria. This journey was strategic … it was planned. Jesus needed to encounter a lady at a watering well in a town called Sychar. (John chapter 4:1-42). His disciples went off to purchase food (v8). He was alone when the lady came to the watering well. He asked her for a drink (water–v7). A conversation starts where she speaks of the ethnic divide between the Jews and the Samaritans questioning why He requested a drink from her (v9). Jesus then says something staggering to her in verse 10:
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.”
Two important statements are found here. The first is that Jesus is the Gift of God to mankind. The second is that Jesus could provide this lady with “living water”. Naturally she is confused as we would be (v11-12) to which Jesus adds another staggering truth
Jn 4:11-12 “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 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.”
(v13-14). Now we understand what this “living water’ is. It is spiritual in nature, quenching the soul and delivering it from the effects of sin, causing the New Birth (a spring of water welling up to eternal life – see John 3v3 & 5-6). God promised this almost 800 years before through the prophet Isaiah.
Isa 49:10 They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.
And the apostle John speaks of this as a reality in glory
Rev 7:16-17 Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
The only solution for the sin sick soul is the living water Jesus provides. It heals the soul, bringing pardon and salvation resulting is the satisfaction of the soul. So many are like the rich man in Luke 16, drink in all the delicacies the world offers … but in eternity his was so thirsty that all he desired was a drop of water to sooth his parched tongue. The greatest need is soul satisfaction and only once the soul drinks from this living water Jesus provides can it be nourished with eternal rest and pleasure. But notice that Jesus said He is the “Gift of God”. A gift is free, you can’t buy it or work for it. But at the same time Jesus said this gift needs to be asked for and He will give it. This means that salvation, although free is not forced upon anyone. You need to ask for it and God, in love, mercy and grace will willing provide this living water for your thirsty soul. But there is one important factor. You need to be sincere, genuine and intentional. He sees the heart and understands the intention of the heart, that is why He gives or withholds this living water. For every sincere heart who seeks, He promises He is to be found:
Isa 55:6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
Remember, Jesus said, “you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” and “the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life”.
O God, You are the Giver of Eternal Life. You alone are the soul solution. Living water alone comes from you to quench the parched soul. How I rejoice in Your love and grace that have been given freely and generously leading towards life in Your Eternal Home. Thank You for opening the door to Your Well that refreshes. Amen.