Friday, August 10, 2012

Know Your Source

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, 
whose confidence is in Him.   
He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out 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: 7-8)
     I lived many years in northern California, and never really worried about water.  Yes, we had several droughts over the years, but inevitably the rains came.  The marine air that hovered over San Francisco Bay would move through the mountains in the early evening, cooling down the heat in the valleys.  This lovely salt-smelling air reminded us of the large body of water nearby.  The days were not so terribly hot that water seemed essential.   Oh, it is so different living in the high mountains of a desert.
     I never dwell on the “desertness” of Idaho until July and August, when the mercury soars to over 100 degrees, and the days are long, hot and very dry.  All the creeks are gone, and the grass is dry.  The only trees that survive in our area grow along the underground flow of the mountain runoff.  If you want to know where the water is, look at the trees that wind down the ravines of the mountains.  Their roots go deep—there is no flowing water on the surface—the runoff of the spring rains disappeared a while ago.  If you want water, you will dig deep.
     The well on our property is 280 feet deep.  That’s a long way down, and the water is only present in the sandstone layers of our hillsides.  The water rolls off the basalt that lies deep under the soil, and if the water has no sandstone to reside in, good luck finding water!
     And yet, the trees know where the source is.  I have recently heard a teaching from Ray Vander Laan about “living water” in the Bible.  It’s the water that comes from God—streams, runoff, rain.  It’s not the water you haul in a bucket…it’s the water that flows freely from the fountains of heaven.  The Festival of Sukkot was one where the Jews prayed to God for water, and would wave palm branches that simulated the sound of falling rain.  The priest would fill a golden pitcher in the Pool of Siloam and then return to the Temple and pour it out and the people would cry “Save us, Lord!” for it had not rained in Israel for six months.  Without living water, the kind that flows from the heavens, the crops and the people would perish.  It was on the last day of this Festival that Jesus proclaimed in the Temple at the moment of silence of this ritual that He was the Living Water!
     He was from God’s own hand—He was the very Water that refreshes our souls.  He’s not held in a container made by man, but flows from the Father.  I never appreciated the need for rain and refreshing water until I lived in place where, without the promise of autumn rains, this place would be uninhabitable.   With all the terrible wildfires that are burning in Idaho, last night my husband said, “All we need is rain.”  In fact, many years ago, farmers called rain “God-water.”
     In fact, this morning, there were sprinkles on the front porch.  We had a little tiny bit of rain, and I became really excited.  How much more so should we be excited about the One Who opens the very floodgates of His love to refresh us!
     How we need God-Water:  the Son of God who called Himself the Living Water.  The trees know where the water is, and with deep roots, can withstand the heat and lack of rain.  As our Scripture says, green leaves and fruit are a result of knowing where the water is.   
     In the life of a Christian, in the heat and drought of this world, we need to know WHO the Water is, and send down deep roots into Him.   The drought and heat will come, but He will sustain us.
Dearest Living Water:  You refresh my soul!  Help me to send down deep roots into You and to drink deeply of Your life-giving waters.  Your Word is the soil that holds the very water of life.  Help me to go deep.  In Your Son’s name, amen.
 This picture was taken by my son James.  How refreshing this looks!  Do we refresh those around us who are thirsty in the same way He refreshes us?  You can't give a cup of cold water to someone unless yours is full.

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