by Fleta Mathews

“Ho, everyone that thirsts, let him come to the waters.”  (Isaiah 55) “…and I will give him of the fountain of the water of life freely.”  (Rev. 21:6)

When I was growing up (back in the dark ages), some of my most memorable moments revolve around water – not walking on it as Peter did but playing in and around it at every possible opportunity. Some of the fun was just splashing in mud puddles after a spring shower or summer soaker or making mud pies from the sloppy stuff. Drawing a drink of water from the well in our back yard or cooling off in the creek that meandered through our acreage where we caught crawdads from under the slippery rocks brought satisfaction on many summer days.

Sometimes, one of my four older brothers would let me tag along on their fishing outings in the deeper streams. I always wound up wet! Just couldn’t resist the urge to dive in for a swim when the summer sun began to beat down on my sunburned face or feet. You can imagine how well that went over with brothers trying to catch fish for the supper table! The other favorite creek I like to remember was the swimming spot in our neighbor’s woods…Here we girls competed with leaves, leaches, snakes and the neighborhood boys. We always had to yell loud and long before we got too close…” girls comin’ in.”

Deep River that wound through our little town was another story. It was not only deep, but treacherous. I could only watch from the banks as my bigger brothers swam or fished where one of their companions had once tragically sunk from sight in the churning currents. I still wanted to swim with them but was always confined to the boat or riverbank. Lakes, too, from long ago, hold an unforgettable thrill of their own. Skiing behind my brother’s boat in Summer and ice skating in Winter still beckons me.

As I grew older, I was allowed to branch out to the beach. Here I learned to love the wind, waves, sand and the sea…Even today, I tend to wind my way back there to rest, relax, and rejuvenate.

Flowing water! What a wonderful way to wake up in the morning or wind down at night. Even now, I’m overjoyed by the fountain in our yard and the one in the pond behind our house. There is nothing more relaxing to me than the sound of water rolling over rocks, streaming from a waterfall, or ocean waves breaking on a sandy shore.

As I treasure these experiences with water in its familiar forms, I am reminded of the wonderful Water of Life found in the Word of God. Water is mentioned 396 times in the Bible. When I drank from our well many years ago, I always had to come back for another drink … I became thirsty again! When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well in John 4, he also spoke of thirst when he said, “whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst…but it shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.(John 4:13-14) In John 7:37 He does not confine this invitation to the woman at the well, but to one and all. “…If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” And …” He that believes on me …out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. Rev. 22:17 says, “Let him that is athirst COME, and whosoever will, let him take of the WATER OF LIVE freely.”

References: Rev. 7:17; Rev. 21:6; Rev. 22:1; Rev. 22:17; John 4:13-14; John 7:37-38; Isaiah 55:1