Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "And Can It Be That I Should Gain"1 (Lyrics)
John 4:10 – Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." (NIV)
There is a small, non-descript fountain at the entrance to our city park. The fountain itself is not very impressive as fountains go. It has just seven streams of water rising to a height of about ten feet, and a red brick wall contains the waters of the pool. One of our friends, who often travels to Rome and other European cities, even scoffs at our little fountain in comparison to the fountains she has seen in Europe. Nevertheless, we enjoy our little fountain. However, it sits very close to one of the busiest intersections in town, and the sounds of the cascading waters are usually drowned out by traffic noises. Nonetheless, my wife and I always stop and sit by the waters whenever we go to the park. If we mentally ignore the rush and noise of the nearby traffic, we can actually hear the babble of the falling waters.
Like the Samaritan woman in today's Scripture, when I was goaded by the grace of God, I asked Jesus a few years ago for His living waters and for the Spirit of the waters to enter my parched and weary soul. I actually experienced the rush and bubbling of the living waters that He promised. The waters filled me with a song of joy and a sense of peace. I felt just like Scrooge when he found out that it was still Christmas Day. My wife noticed that I had become more cheerful, friendly, and outgoing. However, I yearned for sweet silence, and I tried to find a quiet place where I could listen to the song of joy as the waters bubbled and gurgled over the rocks of my very being. The more I tried to keep the living waters to myself, the more the noise and rush of life had a way of invading every sense of my being.
The waters that feed the fountain in the park are self-contained — there is no constant stream of fresh water to the fountain — and so coloured water is simply re-circulated. There have been a few occasions when someone put food colouring in the water of the fountain, and it turned red or blue or green, or just a muddy colour. When this happens, city workers need to come and clean and flush the fountain in order to restore it to clear, sparkling waters. So it is that when I tried to keep the beauty and joy of the living waters of the Spirit to myself, the waters would become stained or muddy. It is at such times that I am in need of the Lord Jesus to come and flush out my fountain and cleanse the waters.
Just like our little fountain in the park, His gift of the living waters to us can sometimes became self-contained. If we want to keep them clear and sparkling, we must let them flow from Jesus into our pool, and from our pool into the river of life that flows throughout the world beyond us.
John 7:38 – Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within him. (NIV)
If we want to keep the gift of the living waters clear and flowing brightly, we must share them with others, as the Samaritan woman did. She told others in her village about Jesus, and about the living waters. No matter how muddy or discoloured our fountain becomes from the rush and the noise of this world, Jesus will always be there to lead us back to the source of all life.
Revelation 7:17 – For the Lamb at the centre 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. (NIV)
Jesus will always lead us back to the source of the living waters. He will wash our souls and replenish our spirits. His song will once again bubble up from the fountains of our regenerated souls.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for the gift of regeneration by the living waters of the Spirit, the Comforter who allows us to be open to the pain and suffering of this world, and not to ignore the suffering of our fellow beings. You, dear Lord, will always lead us back to the source of living waters to cleanse and refresh our worn souls. Amen.