Water in a Dry Land
“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” ~Psalm 63:1
Today may be the day the monsoon’s hit Arizona in force… I hope. I know, some of you aren’t anxious for it with the wind and dust and for some, it’s a reminder of wetter lands you left behind when you moved to sunny AZ. I love the rain. Living in an arid land reminds me constantly of the value and importance of water so I welcome the rain and accompanying wind in the hope of a little green (and far fewer forest fires).
Water on the mountain is always in short supply even today with water from Lake Mary, various wells, and the snow runoff from the San Francisco Peaks, but in the early days of Flagstaff, it was critical. One might have to purchase an occasional barrel of water for $1, an extraordinary amount in the day. Local ranchers who had springs on their land had title to the liquid gold and there were struggles over water rights and access. Finally, around 1901, with some federal aid, a water system was laid from the inner basin of the Peaks into Flagstaff. The clay pipe system lasted a few years but water pressure continued to burst the pipes until cast iron pipe could be laid. Running water abounded and all were grateful for the more frequent opportunity to bathe.
From the desert of Judah the Psalm writer compares his thirst for God’s presence with a very real thirst for water. He longs for the abundance of God’s love but finds himself in a desert. He writes, “I have seen you… and beheld your power and glory,” and he declares, “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.”(v2-3)
David and the other psalm writers understood worship and that’s why the Psalms became the prayer and worship book of the Bible. Intentional worship. Engaging worship. Worship is always meant to include action on our part. It is not the same as when we gather together with our church family, so when we worship today, we must remember the psalm writers who endured the desert, captivity, loss of the temple, and who struggled to remember who they were even while in a foreign culture.
But don’t give up, David didn’t. Pursued and chased, they wanted to kill him, it was a dark time. But he writes, “On my bed I remember you…..I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.” (v6-8) David knew God would not abandon him and a time would come when, like liquid gold water, God’s love would pour out with abundance.
Because of Jesus Christ, we have that abundance through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Like a pipeline from heaven, his presence is real and can lift you from the dusty parched pits of your life. Do you thirst for him? Drink in the joy of forgiveness, wholeness, freedom that is waiting for you. Come back to the well as often as you need.
At the well in Samaria, Jesus offered water to the outcast woman – living water, “a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John4:4-26) She thirsted, and Jesus met her need so many in her village were likewise transformed.
We receive this gift in such abundance that we can and should share it with others. In this season, who do you know who is dry and thirsty? Offer them a drink from the well.
Join us for livestream worship every Sunday at 9. Call in on the phone or watch on YouTube and engage with worship – what is God saying to you? Check in on our other “wells;” Bible study, prayer, or fellowship. Stay connected, get connected, and bring a friend. It’s easier than ever to share your faith this way.
Know if you are struggling, we’re here to help. God is near.
~ Pastor John