The difference between you and a garden hose

It’s been a rather dry spring in the neighborhood. Thank goodness for some recent rains to help with crops and gardens. Brown lawns are just not very attractive or healthy.


But perhaps you’ve seen the news stories recently, not here but in some far off areas…


Brazil facing worst drought in nearly 100 years as officials issue emergency warning

More than 200 elephants die in national park amid drought – from Africa

Historic megadrought ‘already impacting western US and Mexico’

'Horrific' Australia wildfire may burn for weeks without heavy rain


And there are whole websites made up of just stories about drought conditions across the world.


We’ve always known this, but we’re getting more reminders lately – how valuable water is to life.


Remember basic biology from your school days? The human body is around 60% water on average. It’s probably similar for other living things.  You may think shedding water weight is a great way to fit into those jeans again, but do too much of it and they’ll bury you in those jeans.


Science tells us that you can stay alive without food for up to two months as long as you can get adequate amounts of water. But without water? You’ll go maybe just three days before damage sets in.


Ever been dehydrated after a super hot day outside, or during an illness? Just losing a little water can really mess up your system.


Water is crucial to our very existence.


For sci-fi and space fans out there, whether if mankind goes back to the Moon or to Mars or wherever, we won’t last long if we don’t find some water there. Theories and some evidence say water is locked up underground in those places, let’s hope they’re right as we humans venture to those celestial bodies in the coming years.


The Bible is awash in descriptions of water – pun intentional…


In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. – Genesis 1:1-2 NIV


Whether you believe the story of creation literally or think it’s just a story, there’s water right from the very start of everything.


In Exodus, Moses leads the Israelites out of Egypt and to the Promised Land, but not before many travails in the desert. One in particular…


The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?”


But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.”


The Lord answered Moses, “Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. – Exodus 17:1-6 NIV


Bottom line – we need water. But perhaps not just the kind that falls wet from the sky, or that fills the oceans, or that sustains our various crops and animals.


Is your life a drought right now? Is it dry and parched, searching for sustenance and renewal?


Do you find yourself in a constant state of spiritual dehydration? Sadly, the answer for too many people may be Yes.


These past 15 months of the worldwide pandemic have tested all of us - young and old, rich and poor, urban and rural.


Lockdowns, businesses closed, remote school, churches shuttered. Not able to see family members, even giving someone a hug or shaking a hand. Always wearing a mask in public else someone would cry foul or you’d be fined by some governmental body.


This last year has been a drought of the soul for too many people. Mental health has been strained as never before. The rising crime rate in some areas, the frustration leading to increased fights on airplane flights or at protests or in neighborhoods – droughts of feelings have caused those afflictions.


Where are we to get that nourishment our bodies and minds desperately need?


Hopefully you already know the answer…


For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
– Isaiah 44:3 NIV


So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.


When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “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.”


“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”  Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:5-14 NIV


And…


On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. – John 7:37-39 NIV


A drought of the soul can be quenched by the living waters that belief will give you, belief in Christ our Savior and the Holy Spirit to restore you and build you even better than before. Are you drinking the water that Jesus has given you freely?


There’s an interesting rule in science – matter can neither be created nor destroyed. It’s called the Law of Conservation of Mass. Water is a form of matter. The science says that the water currently in you will eventually end up elsewhere, it won’t just disappear. It’s the same for all of us. Our physical water will help others.


So too you can become a spring that helps to water others who desperately need it. That’s literal but also spiritual. You can be the fountain that can help the Holy Spirit to water others. You can be the hose that waters the gardens of people seeking assistance. And right now – that’s a LOT of people.


How? Prayer for others. Reaching out with words of encouragement. Inviting someone to church Sunday morning. Supporting someone who clearly needs help. Relaying mental health concerns of another to a professional. Maybe just a friendly conversation or checking on someone regularly.


You could try a rain dance…or you can dance with joy in your belief in God and his love for all of us. Have the courage to try and spread the word in these difficult times. You could just be saving a life.


From George Churchgoer