As I waited in the reception area of a medical clinic recently, I marvelled at the tropical fish swimming back and forth in a large salt water aquarium. There were fish of every size, shape and colour - red, blue, yellow silver; speckled and striped; flat and rounded. And as I sat there, captivated by the beauty and diversity of God’s creation, I thought of the phrase ‘living water’.
At first I thought of the fish that I was watching and how totally dependent they were upon water of their aquarium. And then I reflected that every living creature, plant and animal, needs water to survive, and of course that includes us - human kind. Indeed, water has shaped the planet we live on, from the roaring oceans to the mighty glaciers, from gushing streams that cascade from high mountain peaks, to mighty rivers meandering their way to the ocean.
Then I reflected on the many ways in which mankind has harnessed the power of water. We use it to turn giant turbines to generate electricity, and we use it to carry cargo and people across the oceans; sometimes lifting massive vessels through a series of locks. We use water in industry to cool machinery, and as a solvent to dissolve solids. We use it at home for drinking, cooking, washing; even for flushing toilets. We use it to irrigate crops and to fight fires. And we use it for recreational purposes when we swim, sail, fish or just rest beside a still lake, reading a good book. Indeed we cannot survive without water. When thought of in these terms, all water is ‘living water’.
Finally, I recalled the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well, and how he said to her that he was the ultimate source of ‘living water’ (John 4: 9-14). And later in Jerusalem, He said, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink! The one who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, will have rivers of living water flowing from his heart." (John 7:37-38)
As we enter into our summer season, may it be a time of rest and refreshment for all. Let each of us enjoy and be grateful for ‘living water’.
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