Tag: John 4

Purified Water

My husband and I frequently travel internationally. When we travel, we often have to buy purified or natural spring water. Local water can make us sick.

Companies that provide the bottled water often advertise that they have acquired water from the source. The leading water supplier goes to great lengths to find spring waters that are pure and free from contaminants.

I have had stomach issues when I travel and I do what I can to avoid having them again. I rinse my toothbrush with the bottled water; I avoid salads (lettuces and vegetables have been rinsed with the local water); I have even learned that delicious local fruit drinks can be mixed with the local water and I no longer drink those.

All of this can be hard to remember. Occasionally I have forgotten to take the precautions I knew I should take – for one simple reason. The water coming out of the tap looks the same as the water that has been bottled. Looks can be deceiving.

800px-thumbnailThis is an issue that must be dealt with. We cannot live without water. Although you cannot see the contaminants – such as E-coli, coliform bacteria, lead and nitrates –  they can definitely make you sick.

Even though we need water, not all water can satisfy.

water-1373543892cbL This is perhaps the best example of the relationship between the physical and the spiritual. Jesus made this point when He was speaking to a woman drawing water from a well. She was not drawing impure water, but because the need for water is constant, she had to return daily. Jesus used this physical need to make a spiritual connection with her.  Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:13-14).

There is no physical life without water. There is no everlasting spiritual life without the living water the Lord provides.

Jesus is truly the source of living water. As He did the woman in Samaria, He invites each of us to drink of the water He provides – pure and uncontaminated. In doing so, He shares His life and His Spirit with those who believe in Him.

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38).

Tired from the Journey

I wrote this reflection at 6 AM on a Saturday morning. My husband and I had just returned from a mission trip arriving at our home a little less than five hours before- 1 AM. My mind was filled with the people and events from the trip, but I had to admit – I was tired from the journey.

120px-StockholmArlandaAirport5No matter where we go, it seems our journeys are long and hard. There is often a “hurry up and wait” factor involved. We seldom have a direct flight to our destination. Travel often entails a mad run through the airport to make a connecting flight. Sometimes even getting to the airport seems a little uncertain. We are often in a place where we don’t speak the language and others have to make arrangements for us.

629px-Board-a-Plane-Step-2Traveling often takes up a great deal of time when we go to conduct international conferences. Many times there are journeys with our journey. Each day we might travel from one city to another, sometimes several hours apart. I wondered aloud to a ministry partner as to why traveling is so tiring. We are often sitting in a car or a train. Why is sitting so tiring?

When I reflect on the fact that I get weary from travel, the circumstances in which our friends live, in some of the countries we serve, make me realize that I have it easy. I am able to make advance arrangements and plan for the trip. Often they don’t know how they are going to get somewhere until the last minute. They may have to catch a ride. If one is not available, they may have to ride a bus – a very crowded old bus with no air conditioning, no shock absorbers and not enough seats for every passenger.

Life is hard for my friends. Transportation, as well as everything else, is very difficult. Some walk or ride bicycles for miles in order to get to conferences we teach. In every case, I know they must be weary from their journeys, but they never complain. They smile and say that’s just the way it is.

Often we need translators. Once, when we had our young translator traveling with us, I asked him if he had rested well the night before and he said he was rested even though he had only slept two hours. He said the Lord was able to make two hours seem like the eight he really needed. He insisted he had more than enough energy to do the work required for the day.

Jesus could certainly identify with the challenges of travel. When He lived among us, with few exceptions, He walked everywhere. He must have felt the stones on the path through His sandals. He must have had to stop many times and shake out the dust and small rocks. He felt the heat of the day as He traveled. He got tired.

Like my friends, although Jesus got weary from travel, He did not complain. He moved on. He had a job to do.

Once Jesus got weary from His journey and sat down at a well to rest while His disciples went into town to find food. His tiredness led to a divine appointment arranged by His Father. While resting, He revealed Himself to a woman at that well – possibly the first woman who met Him face to face and heard Him declare that He was the Messiah.

When His disciples returned with food, they found Him refreshed – not by physical food or by water to drink (although His thirst started the discourse with the woman). She was more important to Him than His exhaustion or His thirst. The encounter that began because Jesus was so tired He needed to stop and rest led to her salvation and many others in her town.

He had to travel through Samaria…Jesus, worn out from His journey, sat down at the well…A woman of Samaria came to draw water…Then the woman left her water jar, went into town and told the men, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?

In the meantime, the disciples kept urging Him to eat. But He said, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about…My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work” (John 4 HCSB).