Recently because of my failure to keep the water running during frigid weather with a windchill below zero, it froze up for a couple of days. It required a drive to the local grocery store to buy a case of bottled drinking water and big 5 gallon bottles for flushing the toilet. I was mad at myself for allowing this to happen. However, it was a minor inconvenience compared with what others have gone through this winter. Some have lost their heat and power. I had much for which to be thankful.
This little episode brought to mind the large percentage of the world’s population that struggles to obtain good drinking water. I decided to do some research. Here is what I found. According to World Vision International, 771 million people lack access to clean water, which is about 1 out of 10 of the world’s population! The average woman in rural Africa walks over 3 miles every day to haul 40 pounds of water. More than 800 children under five years of age die every day from contaminated water or poor sanitation and hygiene.
The solution to my lack of water was a simple drive to the store compared to walking for miles for clean and safe water. Let’s don’t take water for granted. If you live in a part of the world that has plenty of safe drinking water, be thankful. Remember those for whom every drop is life-saving.
There is a spiritual analogy, and I am not for one moment going to minimize how critical the need is for physical water, but there is a spiritual thirst among billions of people. They are like the woman drawing water out of a well, recorded in John 4:7-14. Jesus met her and said, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I give will never be thirsty again. The water that I give will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Water will temporarily satisfy one’s physical need, but it won’t satisfy one’s spiritual thirst for God. May we all, whether or not there is accessible clean water, live the words of Psalm 42:1-2, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirst for God, the living God.”
If you live “in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1), the Israelites of the Old Testament were in the same situation wandering in the arid wilderness. God’s solution was to tell Moses to strike the rock of Horeb, and from out of it will come water, which Moses did (Exodus 17:6). If you are facing a critical source of water, bring your problem to the Lord. He probably will not make it come out of a rock, but he can somehow meet your need.
Jesus is quoted in John 7:37, “If anyone thirsts let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
Dr. David Jeremiah states in his notes on this verse, “Jesus quenches every thirst – He is knowledge to the thirsty mind, love to the thirsty heart, peace to the thirsty conscience, and holiness to the thirsty spirit” (The Jeremiah Study Bible, Hatchette Book Group, 2029, pg. 1411).