There is something special about water. That is to say, other than the obvious. Oh, its unique properties abound; like how it covers over 70% of the planet, and that without it all life would cease to be.
But there’s something more than that.
The human body craves water. It needs it like nothing else. Sometimes I experience a thirst, and will use all sorts of other liquids to try fulfill it; juice, coffee, sodas, anything really… But nothing satisfies. Nothing quenches that thirst than when I get a super tall glass from my cupboard and gulp down a refreshing glass or two.
Only then do I feel truly satisfied that my hunger for thirst has abated. For a little while at least, for I know that I will have that desire again and again, because I cannot live on this earth without it. And I believe that just as our bodies cannot function without water, so our souls crave a spiritual water and cannot function or even survive without it.
The psalmist writes: “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” (Psalm 42:2 ESV)
Just as there are other liquids that will help make our physical thirst subside for a little bit, we would be fooling ourselves - perhaps even putting our lives in danger - if we believed we could survive solely without water at all. All the other things we would try only mask the thirst. They do not quench it.
Likewise, we would try and mask our deep thirst for something meaningful of this life, the mysterious requirements of the human soul. What would we try and pour into it to quench that desire? Money, fame, power, success, popularity, family, drugs, fleeting fits of fancy?
It’s at times like this that I remember the words of Jesus Christ when he says of drinking physical water:
"Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14 ESV)
Again, Jesus said to his disciples, “… whoever believes in me shall never thirst. (John 6:35 ESV)
We wouldn’t pour soda onto a plant and expect it to live. Why then would we pour the things of this world into ourselves and expect it to not kill us slowly as well? To truly flourish, to survive in this world, we need the spiritual water that only Jesus Christ can provide… And this through the Holy Spirit that lives within us the moment we trust on Christ for the nourishment and survival of our souls; from this world to the next.
"If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you." (Romans 8:11 ESV)
This is a mystery of this world. That the same God who created all things would dwell in us as well. Nurturing and watering our souls.
I do not fully understand nor comprehend how this could be, even the magnitude and gravity of that verse my mind cannot fully grasp. But I know, that without the Spirit and presence of Jesus in every day of my life, I will wither and die.
Imagine if you will, considering that the average human body is 50-65% water, that your life is a water clock. (Think of an hourglass and replace the sand with water. Same principle but I’m talking about water here today - sand can wait!) There are only so many drops of water that can come out before the clock will stop. Likewise, there are so many days appointed to us before our lives will come to a standstill.
But a never ending source of living water is available to us. All we have to do is decide to drink from its source or not. Will we decide to flourish, or wither?
Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” (John 7:37 ESV)
The image above is from a photographic project by Eric Bellefeuille. I chose it because his captures seem to best represent the majesty and mystery of water and the ephemeral nature of the soul. See more of Eric’s work here: