Over the years I’ve heard of many things given up during this season of Lent: sweets, social media, meat, soft drinks, chocolate, television, coffee, video games, even food in general. But I’ve never heard of anyone giving up water for forty days.
No one ever gives up water for Lent.
There are many things you can go without for forty days. Water isn’t one of them.
Upon first examination of today’s readings, it is easy to assume “water” to be the shared theme. But perhaps it is actually “thirst” that provides the common thread. Thirst can result in a sense of urgency that drives people to action –the Israelites to grumble and complain, Moses to strike the rock, a Samaritan woman to seek relief at Jacob’s well.
There are some events that are never forgotten. Exodus 17 and Psalm 95 guarantee the thirst God’s people experienced at Meribah is never forgotten. Romans 5 and John 4 ensure God’s people never forget that Living Water is to be found in Jesus Christ.
There are times God leads his people “beside still waters.” There are also times God leads his people “beside dry places.” In Exodus 17, God leads His people to a place of need rather than a place of plenty. He leads them to where there is no water – to where His people will need to depend on Him for survival. At Meribah, God provides first the thirst, then the water.
There are times God leads his people into dry places so he can provide them with water they will never forget. Could it be that in order to have water you will never forget you must first have thirst you will never forget?
Perhaps God has led you to the thirsty place you are today so He can provide the water you long to taste.
There is still a well that comes from Jacob. His name is Jesus.
Dr. Eddie Estep – District Superintendent – South Carolina District Church of the Nazarene