Lately, I've made an interesting observation. Once I get past my screen-saver, my laptop shares random picturesque photographs and then asks, "Do you like what you see?" I've noticed that my eye and heart are drawn to photographs in which there is water.
It can be the ocean, a mountain stream, an idealic lake, a waterfall, or winding river, and my soul is drawn to it with a sort of longing. I feel as if I've been walking, for days on end, in a dry and barren land. The sun is scorching hot (it truly is in NC). I am parched and tired and I, like the deer, am panting for streams of cool and quenching water.
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. (Psalm 42:1)
These have certainly been turbulent, uncertain, and worrisome times. I am able to be "fine" for only so long and then it's as if someone opened the floodgates on the dam and the tears begin to flow. It feels like I'm caught in the down-stream rushing waters and I'm praying that they won't overwhelm me. I fear being sucked under. These are not the waters I long for.
When I was young my father built a summer lake home, for our family, in the mountains of West Virginia. I loved to wander on the hilly pastures near our secluded retreat. One day, while picking wild backberries, I was intrigued by why the cows had gathered around a huge gnarled tree midway up the steep hill.
I pushed my way in between two females to find a young calf lapping up clear water. To my amazement, there was a freshwater spring bubbling up around the ancient, well-washed roots of the tree. I'd never seen anything like it before. The water quenched the thirst of the cows and the tree had obviously sent its roots down deep in order to provide a lush green canopy of shade for the animals. They had everything they needed right here. I cupped my hands and took big gulps of the pure water. Only God could design this, I thought.
"They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." (Jeremiah 17:8)
I need to be like that wise old tree. I need to be sending out my roots by the water. I desperately need the living water which is God's Word, and I need big gulps daily. In this year of desert drought, pure, living water is what I need in order to flourish and bear fruit.
One of my favorite adventures with my kids was swimming in a fresh water spring in Florida. I was fascinated by how this crystal clear water came up from the aquifer that runs below this salty marsh state. We snorkled, splashed and swam, and once again I was intrigued by the source of the water. It came up from a mysterious, watery cavern below us. Another God-design...
No wonder there are so many illustrations in the Bible that speak of drinking living water and never thirsting, waters of life healing nations, rivers flowing from the throne of God, wells of water springing up to eternal life, and deer panting for streams of water. Maybe this is why I am so drawn to water?!
As a believer, I need to take in the living water for my survival and well-being, but I also need to be a fount of truth and hope for others who are struggling. I can't pour out if I'm not being poured into. If I'm not hydrated, I can't draw up water from the well for others to drink.
Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. (John 7:38)
Recently, I've been dreaming of running off the end of a long dock and diving into the refreshing cool waters of a mountain-stream-fed lake...you too?!
Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you that you provide for my every need. In a dry, parched, and barren land, You provide streams in the desert. Your holy word is the living water that I need to drink in daily in order to have life. I am panting for your living word and only it will satisfy. Let me send out my roots along the streams you provide so that I may flourish and bear fruit. Draw me closer still, to you, so that living water will flow from within me. You are the source of water and life that never ends. Be with me now and always. In Jesus precious name I pray. Amen.
What about you? Do you feel, at all, like the deer panting for streams of water? Where do you find the strength to go forward day after day? How far do you think you'll get without daily water or God's daily word? Any inspiration you'd like to share?
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