“If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” John 7:37
“Look buddy, you need to make a decision,” I said as best I can recall once I had sat down on the old towel thrown over my raggedy driver’s seat of my ancient Honda Element car. I suppose those of us who live single and have spent what seems like ages speaking to the Lord aloud not to mention to our countless dogs as I have over the years shouldn’t surprise anyone when we reveal a conversation, albeit one-sided, I had one surprisingly hot and gorgeous January South Carolina day – with a gecko.
“You’re all dried up here,” I told the little lizard-y gecko that sat atop my dashboard. “You need to get out of here and get to the water,” I told my brown friend. Brown is not a good sign for a South Carolina gecko. Brown and shriveled best describe a gecko living holed up in a dirty car for who knows how many days without access to life-sustaining water. Why anyone even a gecko would want to be in such an old, run-down car is beyond me. But even geckos can be desperate for a sense of home I guess. How about water? The gecko had no way to get out without my help. By the time I scribbled the beginning of this on the paper I keep in the car for my ever frantic-search-for-paper-when-the-words-come-tumbling-forth, the gecko was gone. So much for rescuing him and leading him to water.
How many of us, I wonder, are brown and shriveled, dry and dying, spiritually anyway, if not physically, because we’re stuck in places in which we’re cut off from life-giving, life-sustaining, thirst-quenching, deliciously hydrating, necessary-for-growth, refreshing, reviving, living water? Living water? Yes. We humans are so prone to think food and drink are our most vital necessities for living we neglect to realize all of this is temporal. The food and drink we need for a relationship now and forever with God are the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Bible which is the Word of God which is also Christ, and the gloriously thirst-quenching, revitalizing, renewing, reviving living water of God’s Holy Spirit which indwells Christ followers and continually replenishes and refills the hearts, lives, and minds of those who steadily, continually, devotedly spend time at the feet of Jesus learning of Him, seeking God’s face, praying to and praising Him, growing in Him, feasting on and drinking of His Word, deliciously soaked and drenched with the almighty rain and reign of His Spirit. The gecko was dying because he didn’t have a way to get out of his stuck place to get to water. How many of us, I wonder, are dying of malnourishment and dehydration because we’re stuck in our flesh, pride, defiance, self-reliance, and rebellion and refusing to humble ourselves before God and to daily nourish ourselves on His Word and drink of His Spirit to become ever closer to God and increasingly pleasing to Him?