Thristy? Open Wide and Drink In

“…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice,

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.”

John 7:37


Lake Hefner Boats

Boats at the Lake Hefner marina, 2011.

Drought is currently happening here in Southern California. The powers that be say we have more to come so we must get used to water rationing, brown lawns and dirty cars. It’s our future, like it or not, as the government mandates restrictions. My dead grass gives testimony to our rainless skies.

It is not so in many other areas of our country. Two of my daughters live in Oklahoma City where water has been constantly falling from the sky for months now. The vegetation is lush. Lakes are overflowing with abundance of rainfall. But it has not been long since they were in the same boat as us.

Oklahoma experienced a severe drought just a few years back. Summer temperatures soared to over 100 degrees for days on end. No break for a summer rain to refresh the land. Just searing heat and cloudless skies. Crops and cattle suffered. Trees died and their water reserves began to dry up.

While spending some time there, I passed by Lake Hefner, a very large body of water within the city limits. The view from the freeway made this California girl feel as though she was near the ocean. It has a nice sized marina and storage yard for sail boats, but as far as I could see, there were no boats on the lake. It wasn’t until a few days later, I would spot the problem. The lake had become so low boats could not be launched into its waters. The ones moored in the marina were askew and sitting in the mud, useless and unable to move.

A good, long soaking is what Oklahoma would need to make the pasture lands and trees grow again.  Rain is what it would take to refill the reservoirs and reestablish the places that once provided recreation and relaxation. And that is just what they got this spring. They were restored and then some. (Oh, how I envy them.)

The subject of rain presents itself a few times in the Bible. Most of us are very familiar with the rain of Noah’s day, a ferocious destroyer of man and beast. We have also sung the Sunday school song with lyrics that point out where a wise man should build his house. But there is one mention of rain that we should not overlook.

In Deuteronomy 32, it says,

“Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.”  [1, 2]

What a beautiful picture of spring rain falling on plants that are waiting to drink in its life giving moisture. This kind of rain will rejuvenate our souls. In our fast paced lives, we often don’t realize drought has begun in our spirits. We haven’t had a good shower of God’s word in days, and we are starting to droop and wither. But if we listen to this passage, we hear God instructing us to let his teaching fall like rain so we can thrive.

Isaiah 55 even presents us with a promise from God about the words He rains down on us—

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” [10-11]

Growing and flourishing, provision and satisfaction. God’s word does its job and we can count on it.

Our part–drink in His word. This reminds me of rainy days when my girls were small. When we heard that first pitter patter, we would run outside, singing this song as we went,

“If rain drops were gum drops and lemon drops, oh, what a world this would be.

I’d stand outside with my mouth open wide…”

Then, we would turn our faces up to the sky with open mouths, catching the rain drops as they fell, giggling all the while.

There is something very sweet when God rains his Word on us. We need to remember to not let drought take over our lives, leaving us dry.  Instead, we must open our mouths wide to drink in, absorb, and savor the Word and all the goodness it has to offer.

“…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 4:14


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