Spring Runoff

Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I Heard The Voice Of Jesus Say"1 (Lyrics)

When the snow finally melts, the water from the tap in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, starts to taste terrible. It's brown and turbid from mud and silt stirred up by the now faster-flowing Red Deer River that intersects our city. Dead and decaying plant matter, like the previous year's leaves and grasses, adds to the mix. This state of affairs could last from three to six weeks, depending on the amount of snow that we've had during the winter.

During spring runoff, our water goes through extra treatment processes as it comes out of the river. Along with the usual chlorine, potassium permanganate and powdered activated charcoal are added to absorb some of the impurities and to control taste and odour. We're told that the water is safe to drink; it's just not what we'd like to drink.

God can use bad drinking water to teach valuable life lessons. For example, after the amazing deliverance of the people of Israel at the Red Sea, they complained that they could not drink the bitter water that they found in the desert at the oasis of Marah. God could have provided water along the way, but He deliberately led them in a certain direction to teach them aspects of His character. In contrast to the people's grumbling, Moses inquired of the Lord, and God provided the solution. He showed Moses a piece of wood to throw into the water, and like the substances added to our drinking water, the bitter water became good to drink.

The people's attitude towards their predicament was bitter. By grumbling and complaining against their leader, they revealed their resentment that their needs were not being met. They quickly forgot that God had delivered them in the not-so-distant past.

Exodus 15:26 – [God] said, "If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you." (NLT)

God was putting them to the test. To be healthy, all that the people had to do was to obey the commands and decrees laid out for their welfare.

The Israelites encountered God in a new way at the oasis of Marah: Yahweh Rophe, "the Lord Who heals". They learned that they needed to look to God only, and when they would trust Him, He would heal them, just as He healed the bitter waters.

In our world, the waters of life don't always taste good, and we have difficulties, especially after a triumph, but it is in the difficulties that God reveals Himself. Let's not cry out in despair like the Israelites, "What are we going to drink?" Instead, let's trust the Lord, Who healed the waters at Marah, and Who can certainly heal every situation when we turn to Him.

Prayer: Lord, our Healer, help us not to despair in times of difficulties and challenge, but to turn to You for healing. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Alice Burnett <terrencera.burnett@gmail.com>
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Alice.

    Thank you, Alice for a wonderful reminder today.

    Thank you, Alice. This is well done, and your application is spot on.

    Thank you, Alice, for another of your very special and positive devotionals. Blessings for your writings.

    Dear Alice:
    As a fellow Albertan, I was blessed by your sharing this morning. May our Lord continue to bless you and keep you to continue your sharing.
    With grateful heart.

    Thank you, Alice, for today’s devotion.
    You have opened up memories that I have experienced.
    When I was in my twenties, I had a chance to work for the summer in Moosonee, Ontario.
    When I arrived there (by train), my local coworker took me and my traveling companion, who was stopping over and going on, to Two Bay dining room.
    Two Bay is a lodge that provides resort type of services to whoever needs them.
    However, when we sat down, the waitress brought us each a glass of water.
    This was the beginning of July, and this water was tinted.
    I thought it was juice, so I took a large sip.
    It didn’t taste too bad, in fact, it was tasteless.
    Our coworker explained that their water is tinted year-round, because we were living in muskeg country, and that’s the reason it’s discoloured. But it was safe to drink.
    My stay was until end of September, I was on relief duty for the weather department.
    So that the weather employees can take their vacations during this time.
    In my travels with the weather department, I learned a lot about our water, and of the water that Jesus offers.
    I learned to look to Him for hope when I ran into some difficulties.
    Sometimes I was over-whelmed with work and responsibilities.
    I took on more than I should have, but I stepped up when no one else did; but God helped me through and kept me.
    He helped me so that I could live up to my end of our convenance.
    Today I am a retired elder in my church; and I enjoy watching all the young people that I once had a weekly hour in their lives as their Sunday School teacher, now as young adults look after our church.
    Thank you for your submissions, I enjoy them very much.
    They help me to keep my faith and gives me strength to my daily life.

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.

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