He leads me beside quiet waters. Psalm 23:2 NIV
The water was murky at best, but it provided the only source we had.
On the first overnight camping trip my brother and I ever took, we failed to map out whether good water sources existed near our camping spot. In fact, we didn’t even map out where we would camp. Our tents ended up in a wooded area that we could hardly call a campsite, and our only water source was a murky, bug-topped trickle that crossed the trail and then disappeared. Fortunately, we had a filtering system that removed 99.9 percent of harmful bacteria. The water was still brown after filtering it, but it tasted good and was purified.
Much of our bodies consist of water, and if we don’t have it, we’ll die. Bottled water is a big item in today’s world because of its purity—and for some, it provides a status symbol—but even it has its downfalls, as we found out when our middle grandson visited the dentist.
“It appears he’s not getting enough fluoride,” the dentist remarked when my wife took him for a cleaning. “Does he brush with fluoride toothpaste?” she continued. “And what about water. Does he drink tap or bottled water?”
Our daughter and son-in-law, being naturalists, use toothpaste without fluoride. Fluoride has some possible bad effects. They also buy bottled water. A bad mixture when a child’s teeth are prone to cavities.
The psalmist said God led him to quiet or still waters. When filtering water, I always tried to get it from a place where the water ran quickly. But that didn’t change the result: most water sources are polluted. Most animals, sheep included, want to drink from a spot where the water doesn’t flow rapidly, but still, water tends to stagnate.
Water is one more thing sheep must have for them to lie down. If they are thirsty, they will be restless. And many times, their water source is nothing more than the dew from the grass they graze on. They can go for extended periods without drinking water in the traditional sense.
No matter how much water we drink, we’ll thirst again—unless we drink from the water Jesus offers. The same water He offered to the Samaritan woman He met at the well. He told her if she drank the water He offered, she would not thirst again. This excited her. She thought she’d never have to make another trip to the well. Jesus meant otherwise.
Jesus’ water is an offer for fulfillment. It begins when we place our faith in Him as our Savior and ask Him to forgive our sins. His water continues to quench our thirst as we live in obedience to His commands and as we trust Him to meet all our needs: physical, spiritual, and emotional.
We have a habit of visiting the wrong sources, trying to fill the spiritual void that occupies a spot in our life where only a relationship with Christ will suffice. Jesus will take us to the best sources of clean refreshing water that will keep us satisfied. While we don’t have to keep returning to Him for salvation, we do have to keep going back through prayer and Bible study for the daily water we need.
Don’t settle for less than the best water.
Saint Augustine of Africa summed it up: “O God! Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our souls are restless, searching, ’til they find their rest in Thee.”
Prayer: Father, lead us to the quiet waters that will forever quench our thirsty souls.
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