Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dry Souls, Muddy Wells, Living Water and Lent (Advocating for the Vulnerable #10)

A tray of dead radish sprouts, a science experiment abandoned on the back porch.

Beautiful, healthy trees in a park.

Big differences in many ways!

The biggest difference is that one is dead and the others alive.

The difference is water.

Scientists tell us we can live without food for a long time.

But not water.

It's easy to become seriously dehydrated, spiritually speaking.

Parched souls.

Many of the readers here at Watch the Shepherd have been wounded by churches, Christian organizations and man-made religious systems.

Some Christian groups are like muddy wells, originally designed to nurture and refresh, but polluted now by pride and power. This water makes you choke and wretch. Better not to drink it at all.

And so we stop drinking there. Our trust broken, maybe in more than one place, we even stop drinking at all. And we shrivel up.

Instead, we need to go to Jesus and drink the living water of the Holy Spirit, clean and pure, straight from the source. Scripture tells us that he, the Messiah long foretold, grew up like a root out of dry ground. From his own experience, he knows our need. And he is ready to fill us.  Come.

He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him... After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfiedby his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.  Isaiah 53:2

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

He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers.  Psalm 1:2-3

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water." Jeremiah 2:13

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Revelation 7:17

"Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said,streams of living water will flow from within him.” John 7:38

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12:3

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14


Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent.

Traditionally, Christians throughout the centuries use the 40 days before Easter to examine themselves and set aside anything that is pulling them away from a deeper faith in Jesus.   Sometimes they give up something, like chocolate or video games.  It is not so much the giving up that renews us, but the turning back to the Lord with thirsty souls.

I want that.

But I want more, too.

Nish at The Deeper Story has written a post called 40 Days of Water.

During Lent, we can make a difference to those who have no clean physical water for their bodies.  Here's the big idea: drink nothing but water until Easter, and give the money you save on beverages (Starbucks, soda, wine, juice, etc.) to an organization like Blood:Water Mission that provides wells and clean water in Uganda.


You like that idea?  You better believe she does, too!

Blood-Water Mission

Listen, friends!  Let's make this large:

  • 3.4 million people around the world die each year from a lack of access to clean water. Nearly all of those deaths, about 99 percent, occur in the developing world.
  • Half of Africa’s population doesn’t have access to clean water.
  • Lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills children at a rate of a jumbo jet crashing every four hours.

Sobering, yes?

But we can make a difference.

The difference of life and death.

The difference of water.

Let's do this thing.

Drink up!
Virginia Knowles