The biblical metaphor of water is, while vast and important, one we are well familiar with. But just any story, word, or verse in this book, I believe that even with a lifetime of study we can only scratch the surface of its infinite depths and possibilities. Please excuse my terrible pun.
I was flying from Los Angeles to San Francisco last week, and from the air I got a new perspective on water and what it means in our culture and in our lives. The hour and a half flight on such a small plane requires pilots to fly pretty low, below the cloud line on most sunny California days. Because of this, I was able to watch the earth pass by underneath us almost the entire flight. As we flew along the jagged California coast I began to notice a pattern. The closer we flew to the water, the more buildings and development I could see, and the further we flew away from the ocean, the more open land their seemed to be. It’s the lure of waterfront property, it’s valuable, and everyone wants it. This I already knew, but it had never been made so clear to me as in that moment when I had gained a different perspective.
It reminded me of what we all think of the animal world. We picture the jungle as an animal community where all the animals strategically place their habitats around the community “watering hole” where they all drink in peace together. This is not entirely inaccurate, while there is rarely on community “watering hole”, most animals do establish their living quarters, or follow their migration paths based on where they can find a decent water source. In short, God’s creatures flock to the water.
Not only this, but as we passed over Palo Alto, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and finally to San Francisco I was reminded of something else. Almost all major cities in the world are located in close proximity to a major body of water. This is because hundreds of years ago, when these cities were developed, the water provided boats with a road for travel and trade. In a world separated by continents, the water is what connects us.
I can’t help but believe that God created us with such a physical dependence on water so that we may understand and take seriously what His word says about water spiritually.
In the Psalms, and many other places throughout scripture, the language of “thirsting for God” is used. This is no mistake. The Bible tells a story of a people who are thirsting for God and thirsting for a Savior. Then Jesus comes along and causes living water to flow out of their hearts. (John 7:38) And just like in the old days of seas trading, it is the living water that connects the human spirit one to another and creates the beautiful community that God desires for His people.
But if water is so essential to our spiritual well-being, connection, and survival, why are we rarely as dependent on it as we are physical water? How many times a days to you drink water? How many times a day do you pray? How long would you live if you only drank water for one hour once a week? You wouldn’t get to the second week. Then why is it that most of us are spiritually content with seeking the living water of Jesus only one hour on Sunday morning.
I don’t know about you, but often times I find myself spiritually dehydrated. And yet I look beyond the living water of Jesus to some sugary, tainted type of drink to quench me thirst, but all it does is make me more thirsty.
Please hear my heart on this friends, I do not mean for this to sound like a condemnation. Trust me, I am the first person who needs apply this to my life. I am too broken, too unrighteous, too selfish not to be drinking from the well of living water the Jesus provides several times a day.
We are drawn to the water because the water connects us. Not just with one another, but with a God who loves us. May you allow yourself, this week, to be drawn to the water daily, hourly, every minute. Because that is where we will find life, and find it to the fullest.