John 7:37 On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, 38 and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
People were making preparations for their travels home from the festival and this would have included enough water for the journey. Jesus’ cry to those who were thirsty would have resonated. People would have flocked to the idea of Jesus providing enough water for them. However, he was inviting them into a new future in which their parched souls would be eternally watered by the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit would then overflow and water not only their lives, but of those surrounding, bringing new and eternal life.
Recently my husband and I were beginning a drive up into the mountains. As we began we were in a lower valley which was dry from the summer heat. Everything was brown or yellow, and evidence of wildfires abounded. Blackened hilltops dotted the countryside and you knew that the land was suffering the consequences of summer.
As we drove on we rose to higher heights and eventually found ourselves beside a river. The scenery changed rather abruptly with the presence of water. Lush green grass abounded and the pine trees soared when fed by the rushing and foamy waters of the river.
I thought about my own spiritual life and how it can begin to feel like the parched earth of summer. Long days in the beating sun can make one thirsty and ready to burn like tinder. But when we stop along the banks of the river to drink from the waters of the Spirit we are renewed. Life courses through our veins and our souls are nourished by the Spirit’s presence. The circumstances are no different — it’s still hot and the sun is beating down — but the situation is changed by the presence of living water.
We are encouraged by the Spirit’s presence who brings us what we need in the midst of our circumstances. Like water on a hot summer day, so the Spirit fills us, satisfying our needs to overflowing.
Lord, thank you for the privilege of drawing from your deep well of refreshing. Amen.
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