I just read a Louis L’Amour novel, The Lonesome Gods, about a Wild West adventure, taking place mostly in the deserts of California in the early 1800s. It doesn’t matter when you go in the desert, you will be dry. For me and many others, I think of eye drops. I have dry eye problems. Perhaps I don’t need the proprietary drops advertised on TV so much nowadays. I just need the ones for $1 from the Dollar Store, many times a day. If I don’t my eyes start to feel like the Mohave Desert is blowing sand in. The gritty dryness begins to hurt and I lose focus. That leads to my brain not getting the signals it should and everything gets a little fuzzy, more than usual. This makes me think of Psalm 23 and lying down beside the still waters where He (God) refreshes or restores my soul.
We need to lie down beside still waters on a regular basis to rest and refresh. In Psalm 23 God, the Good Shepherd makes us lie down because we are not very good at it ourselves. Refresh and restore or renew are similar words about making us new. Acts 3:19 talks about repenting and turning to God that our sins might be wiped out (of our eyes and hearts) and we might be refreshed by the Lord. Paul uses the term when speaking to Philemon about freeing his runaway slave, forgiving and refreshing Paul therefore through Christ. Proverbs 11:25 speaks of, "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Water refreshes as Jesus talks about giving a cup of cold water to the thirsty in His name and certainly not losing our reward (Mark 9:41).
Can you imagine in your minds eye how refreshing a cold shower or cool swim is after a hard day of work or play in the sun? Refreshing water surges from a hose after climbing a steep canyon out of a river valley on a cloudless 100-degree day fishing in Montana. It seems like the proverbial pearl of great price at the time. Perhaps that’s why Jesus uses such metaphors. He wants us to see like the woman at the well the “living water” He gives. “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). This is the water of salvation that washes us clean of our sins and brings us eternal life in Christ Jesus our Savior and Lord. It is drinking or having faith in Him that brings a quenching beyond the worldly.
Like eye drops, His water lubricates and loosens chains. It frees us from prisons and sins or wounds that bind. His water is the “oil of gladness,” that brings a peace with God that transcends all understanding. I carry eye drops with me everywhere. I also carry the Word of God, the Bible with me too to bring eternal truths and quenching of my soul and not just my body. I can see much more clearly now. Someday we will see perfectly in His presence. “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11 KJV).