Friday, February 28, 2020

Drinking Water

We live on the shores of the greatest source of fresh, drinkable or potable water in the world. That is an amazing fact that the Great Lakes represent 95% of the U.S. water supply and are 84% of the surface water in North American. That is six quadrillion gallons of water or one-fifth of the fresh water in the world. What a blessing to live here, even if from time to time we get bacteria like cryptosporidium that can sicken and even kill. But the aquifers around the lakes are full of pollutants like radium and ecolli. There is a battle brewing and even “water wars” for access to this natural resource. Some say it should be available to the whole world, but only the Governors of the Lake’s contiguous states can decide who gets it. Why? Because it is still a limited resource and we need it to live.

If you were without water for a week you would die. We can go without food for up to a month depending on the health of a person. We are 70% water and need it to live. But yet much of the world is “water poor.” Much of Africa and Asia are without drinkable water and need to travel miles to find water that might be contaminated with cholera or typhoid or other poisons. There are 2.4 billion people without access to clean drinking water and an estimated 840,000 people die each year from contaminated water including some 360,000 children. Some say this is a justice issue and that there should be some way to bring equity. God know all about this and there are many ministries bringing water through digging wells. Living Waters is the largest Christian water ministry digging wells and providing water technology around the water. I am glad that Milwaukee, where I live, is becoming the water technology center of the world. My prayer partner works for a company that is designing water systems for the world.

God through the Bible also has given us a source of water. He calls it “living water.”  In the story of the “Samaritan Woman” we read of a woman in need of more than H20. When Jesus asked her for a drink He said, “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” (John 4:10). In John 4:14 we read, “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.”  This is a story about the source of true thirst quenching water.  This water in that of the Holy Spirit that is God. Jesus is telling her that if she drinks it or believes in Him that she will never thirst again. Many laugh at this thought as a great exaggeration or aggrandizement. But it is a statement about life and life eternal in the creator of the universe and each one of us humans. When the Israelites were in the desert and thirsty they quarreled with Moses and said, ’Give us water to drink’ (Exodus 17:2).  So Moses struck the rock and water came out of it as God had told him. God provided water from Mara to Meribah even though the people grumbled. He is faithful, we are not.

Have you ever been thirsty? Of course you have. And for the most part you just pumped the well or turned on the spigot. I recall in the military having to use halazone, a chlorine-like chemical tablet to purify the water before we could drink it. There are many systems available today. But the best is the Lord’s.

I have written about thirst and heat in Montana as we climbed out of deep canyon in the 100+ degree sun after trout fishing. The water in the hose next to a ranch house was cold and pure and crystal clear. It refreshed and revitalized us to our souls. It is a great memory of God’s provision. Near that ranch is the Missouri River, the longest river in the United States, is “Giant Springs.” It is an amazing artesian aquifer, welling up from between the rock thousands of feet down and from the Little Belt Mountains, 60 miles away. Lewis and Clark stopped there as they portaged the four huge waterfalls on the Missouri.

In Revelation, the last and prophetic book of the Bible we read, “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). Yes God in Christ Jesus is the “Living Water” and will bring life and joy back to us who believe in His heaven. The book ends with these wonderful words of life; “To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son” (Revelation 21:6-7). Drink deeply from the living waters of life.

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