We all have fond memories of a cool swim on a hot summer day, whether that day was this week or long ago. Whether you knew how to swim or felt more comfortable only wading, the one thing we find in common was the welcomed refreshing of a cool dunk.
Growing up in small town, in Tennessee, there seemed to always be more time for work than play, but we always seemed to carve out a little river or lake time. At first, it was fishing from a rock on the river bank. We fried to a crisp in the hot sun before Mom and Dad would finally let us swim, never wanting to disturb the fishing hole. Then later came a small fishing boat, and, once again, we had to wait until the fishing was complete. Swimming was the only thing we really could afford to do, so, when the lifeguards at baker pool weren’t looking, I would rise to the challenge and climb atop their perches and dive in from the lifeguard stand. I don’t remember getting caught or kicked out, but, one thing is for sure, I never left the river, lake, or pool without red eyes and wrinkled fingertips.
Water was alluring, refreshing, needful and desired. In the fields, if we didn’t have it, then we longed for it. To find yourself without some good ole h2o was never a great threat because we knew we were never too far away from an ample water supply or, as we called it, “the hose pipe.” Yes, in the South, we drink from a cut off, faded-green old- fashioned hose pipe. But, in areas where rainfall is little and desert is plentiful, water sources can be more than a drink from the hose; it’s the most important thing.
The Middle East is such a place. Most of the landscape is dry as well as the atmosphere. Water is precious, and Israel is the lone oasis amidst a surrounding desert. Israel today has so much water that they produce billions of dollars of water-dependent produce each year. The nation of Israel has grown in population exponentially since 1948 yet they still have an abundance of water. Israel sells millions of gallons of water each year to its neighboring countries. In a climate and location where over 60 percent of the area is a dry and barren desert, one place stands green and lush. One country produces not just enough water to survive but more than enough to thrive. Israel stands alone in that category, and one can see why this singular place has been fought over for thousands of years. It’s because as valuable as gold and silver are to the world, there’s nothing more precious than water.
But why does our great ally, Israel, possess such a blessing? Well, let’s go to the head of the stream and ask the owner. His name is Jehovah, and he told his people long before they ever inhabited the land that he would give them a property flowing with milk and honey. His very words concerning Israel and its water sources are recorded in Isaiah 43:19 - See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Again he records in Isiah 41:18 - I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.
I’ve said it many times and will say it again concerning our lives and the establishment of Israel and that is “God will never call us and then fail to equip us.” He will never call you to the desert and then leave you without a water source. There’s always a hose pipe close by, however it’s our job to drink.
God is calling each of us to search for living waters amidst the driest of places. It seems the talk and attention recently in our country has violently shifted to dry places and barren news reports. God placed Israel in the midst of one of the harshest environments known to man, and yet he is more than enough, so much so that the life-giving source of Israel, the designer of the springs, and architect of the rivers is a pressed-down, shaken-together, and running-over kind of God - even during the toughest stretches. So whatever virus threat is next, whatever news reports are depressing, and no matter how hard the coming days may seem, there’s always a hose pipe nearby and his name is Jesus.
Join with us at Christpoint Church this Sunday. Let’s search for the water source in this ever-changing dry climate we live in. We realize that many of you cannot attend right now in person, so we invite you online at 9:15 a.m., on Facebook. Our services are at 9:15 a.m. and 11 a.m., and we’re just real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.