God’s Living Water
A devotional by Karen Marstaller
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” –John 7:37 (ESV)
With a massive drought still overshadowing our country, our city has instituted water rationing in order to ensure a sufficient water supply. It has been a shift in our thinking, but one that was timely and necessary.
In our yard, my husband has faithfully watered the trees and shrubs on the new schedule, and he’s been able to keep our patio plants green and flourishing, even with less water than usual. Our yard looks healthy.
Inside, my handful of houseplants haven’t been nearly so well-tended. In fact, one of them died and the other two are looking bad.
After months of eye surgeries, I’m finally able to see again, so today I really looked at the frail, dying plants. Appalled at their condition, I took them down from the shelf over the sink, tossed the dead one, and then trimmed the other two and watered them well.
Within minutes, some of the root tendrils began to change from milky green to a much more robust and healthy color. The leaves are still limp, but they will wait for their roots to grow plump with the much-needed water.
It’s like that in my life, too. From the outside, most people seem to think I’ve got it all together. But nothing could be further from the truth. The only thing that keeps me together isn’t a thing—it’s the person of Jesus Christ.
The last few months have been especially hard. As my eyesight rapidly diminished, there were quite a few things that dropped by the wayside: Reading, studying God’s Word (The Holy Bible), driving, cooking, writing. Considering that these are the major activities of my life, each loss became almost insurmountable. Using reading glasses and a magnifying glass, needing a driver, depending on family and friends to feed us, and composing thoughts in my head before ever daring to try to put them on a computer screen were all a true paradigm shift.
Praying, listening to worship music, and repeating my meager store of memorized scripture verses all helped, as did all the sweet cards, phone calls, and visits from dear friends and family. But it wasn’t long before I felt as dried up and lifeless as my poor plants on the windowsill. Through it all, God sustained me with His presence and His promises. He says He will never leave us, and He never broke His promise.
Now, with fresh eyesight, thanks to a godly doctor, generous organ donors, and the Great Physician, I’m rediscovering the beauty and nourishment of God’s Word. Unhindered now, the words leap from the pages to my heart, and from there they spread to my thoughts and actions.
Jesus tells us He is the Living Water (John 7:37 ESV). We are the thirsty ones, and He promises to give us His water that will, in turn, well up in us as rivers of water—living water—sustaining water for our journey through this life. His water isn’t just a surface dousing. It’s inner growth and health that fills us thoroughly and completely.
Just as houseplants bring fresh and healthy air into a room, so Jesus Christ as the Living Water is always available to share with those around us. The Lord is gracious like that.
The Apostle John tells us about the things he saw in Heaven in the Revelation. One of the scenes describes “the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1 ESV). For all eternity, we will worship at the throne of our God and Savior with His living water flowing joyously all around us.
God’s Word is like that river in Heaven—perfectly clear and perfectly pure. But even more amazing is that we don’t have to wait until we go there to have this never-ending source of true life. Jesus, our Living Water, promises to be right here with us, and His promises are “new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Even in the droughts that come into our lives, Jesus opens our eyes again and again as He refreshes and restores our withered hearts. As a result, our roots will sink deeper into His freshness and give us good health. He is faithful and true to me and you!
Let’s Pray: Dear Holy, Heavenly Father, we thank You and praise You for all the times we go through hard things because You are always with us through them. You have plans for us that we can’t understand and sometimes it’s awfully hard to see Your hand in them. Please help us to wait patiently with our hope in You shining in our eyes. Thank You for Your faithfulness in reviving our anxious, weary hearts with Jesus, our Living Water. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
Song of Reflection: “You’ll Never Thirst” by Anointed. Listen to it here.
Karen Marstaller is a retired high school teacher who spent most of her career challenging creative students to write. Her heart is for her readers.
She writes to encourage them, to make them laugh, to show them that life is a beautiful journey, and regardless of their past, to show them that there is joy ahead if they will just keep looking.
Karen and her husband live in central Texas in a sweet little home that they completely remodeled. They enjoy spending time with their family, which includes seven precious grandchildren.
Most of all, Karen writes in obedience to the command to love your neighbor, to offer a cup of water to those who are dying of thirst, and to comfort others with the comfort she has received.
You can reach Karen by emailing her at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org