Water, Salt and Thirst
Rev. 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”
And let everyone who hears say, “Come.”
And let everyone who is thirsty come.
Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.
We all need air to breathe and water to drink to sustain us in our lives. Here in the very closing chapter of the word of God we here this invitation. The Spirit and the bride are welcoming us to come — to respond to the invitation. The invitation is for us to come and to drink. Jesus had told the woman at the well that he had water that would sustain her eternally. This is the gift, the eternally sustaining water which may be found in Christ alone. Here, at the end of the story we really find the beginning where we are welcomed into the eternally sustaining embrace of God.
A number of years ago my husband went on a weekend prayer retreat in Russia. He was going to pray and fast throughout his time but forgot to take any drinking water with him. When he arrived at his retreat location he realized there was no drinkable water anywhere to be had. He spent the weekend fasting, not just from food, but from water as well. He didn’t realize how soon this would become a problem and as the weekend wore on he became more and more thirsty, his boding desperately needing water. The weekend came to a close and he rode a bus back into the city which delivered him at a Metro station where there were kiosks selling water. He immediately went and bought a two liter bottle and stood there drinking the entire thing. Hunger meant nothing to him because his thirst had overwhelmed him. His system desperately needed the life-giving water.
We all need water to sustain us physically, but we need spiritual water to sustain us eternally. I’d like to consider for a few moments this idea of being thirsty for there is in that word a sense of desire. I’m afraid that I don’t sense a great deal of people in the world today who seem thirsty to know Christ and I wonder why that might be. This makes me ponder what it is that makes people thirsty which brings me to the idea of salt. We all know that we can’t drink salt water because the salt content would kill us. We know that if we eat salty foods we become very thirsty. Salt is hydrophilic — water loving! The chemical nature of water and salt means that water is attracted to salt and sticks to it, meaning that we also want and/or need more water when we have consumed salt.
In his Sermon on the Mount Jesus declared that his disciples were to be salt. Could it be that the relative thirstiness of the world around us is related to our saltiness? If we are not very salty — others won’t be very thirsty!
I hear many people lament the current condition of Christianity and that people don’t seem to be flocking to the Church or to Christ like they used to. Maybe it’s time to get our eyes off of others and consider where we are in our personal walk with the Lord. We are to be salt and only then will there be those who are thirsty. May the Lord help us to be salty reflections of Christ in this world, pointing them in the direction of the one who had can satisfy their thirst for what they see.
Lord, may I seek to be salt, pointing in the direction of the water, everyday. Amen.