My wandering dog, Rufus, disappeared again. Each day I called, whistled, searched, and came up empty each time. I finally resigned that Rufus was gone for good and began to look at Rover as our only dog. The road grader was smoothing our lane two weeks later, when he saw a black lab in the ditch, alive. Our neighbor, Hank, told me as soon as I came home that Rufus had been seen nearby.
Immediately, I changed shoes and began calling and looking for him along the lane. In the tall grasses, among the plants, wherever I thought he might have gone. After a half hour, I found myself discouraged. I was so close to Rufus, yet I still could not find him. I went back to look once more, in a different place. Standing at the edge of the soybean field, I called and whistled for him. Suddenly, I saw a stirring of the leaves and slowly a dog’s head came up. Rufus was found. I couldn’t believe it. He had lost close to thirty pounds, was very weak, but alive.
As I reflected on how Rufus could have survived, I thought of the creek where he often went when it was hot. Rufus may have gone without food, but he was not without water. The water saved him.
The human body can go weeks without food, but it can only survive a short time without water. It is just like God to create our very physiology to need water more than anything. Water brings life. It brings restoration. It is used to signify the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus in baptism.
Scripture gives us images of water saving mankind again and again. Illustrating our physical need and our spiritual need for nourishment and health. Moses’ striking the rock in the desert during the Exodus for water to refresh the Israelites and their livestock (Numbers 20:11). Jesus’ offering living water to our souls (John 7:37-38), to fill us up so that we can pour out the Holy Spirit and the love of Christ to others.
During a message on thirst and water, a pastor asked the congregation about their water levels. Were their levels low, stagnant, and unhealthy? Or were they filled to the brim and overflowing with the living water given by Jesus Christ?
O Best Beloved, will you join me in praying for the floods of Heaven to pour into our hearts and souls, washing us clean once again, and overflowing to those who are in our circles who are thirsty for the Truth, for healing, for freedom? Let us feel that living water splash up against our parched lives.
Spring up oh well, within my soul, spring up oh well, and make me whole, spring up oh well, and give to me this life abundantly (L. Casebolt).