God's Word is full of images of being hungry or thirsty and finding satisfaction, of lacking and suddenly being full. Cheryce Berg writes about that longing and satisfaction, feasting if you will, found only in Jesus.
Agua Fria. Cold Water. A misnomer if I ever saw one. The semi-desert canyon held no water, cold nor hot; in fact, dust devils chased each other down its sandy paths. I crossed it many times while visiting Arizona and tried hard to envision the rushing water that courses through it after a rare rainstorm. Everything bursts into bloom afterwards, the cactus flowers surprising you with color—I’m told. New life.
A metal drinking fountain on the side of the path. Meant for golfers, but a welcome sign for a runner not desert-savvy enough to carry water. I lapped up the agua fria like a dog, desperate to dispel the grainy dust from my tongue. My dragging feet were revived, my sun-spotted vision cleared, and I was ready for more miles on the path. New life.
Why do I take water for granted? Agua fria drips outside my window as I write, the cold raindrops blurring my view of the squirrel on the fence. My own cup of agua fria sits beside my keyboard. I have plenty.
At dinnertime, a few weeks earlier, I had asked my family what the Bible means to them in one word. We had just read Psalm 19: God’s precepts are gold and honey to David. “Wisdom,” “cool” and “interesting” were the responses of my boys. They are in the treasure-seeking stage of studying God’s Word. “Comfort,” said my husband. He feels the weight of friends and family who suffer, and Scripture is a balm.
I had to think longer about my answer. Finally, while running that day in the desert, it was clear. God’s Word to me is water. It is Agua Fria. Cold water. New life.
When the poor and needy seek water,
and there is none,
and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the Lord will answer them;
I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
I drink in his Word. It brings into bloom the parts of me that are dead. It revives my steps, clears my vision, gives me strength. It quenches my thirst. I have plenty.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6
What about my friends who are still thirsty? What about my beautiful hair stylist, my self-sufficient 92-year-old neighbor, my dear friend who watches our dog? Do they have God’s Word to quench their thirst? What am I doing to draw them to the Word himself—Jesus Christ?
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. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:37-38
They hide their thirst, their parched tongues and weary feet. But I carry living water in my heart. It can quench their thirst forever. New life. Agua Fria for the soul. How long will I wait to share it?
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.