Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I am very hot at the moment. This first week of school, I have been arriving 30-50 minutes early to wait in line to pick up Maren after school. I remember last year, if I weren't at the beginning of the line, it would take forever to get through to pick her up. So this year I just decided to suck it up and go extra early so she doesn't have to sit out in the heat waiting for me. Next week I will come a little later, as the line will both move more quickly and have fewer cars in it.

But for now, I am hot waiting in this line. And boy am I glad I have a bottle of water with me. Water is a funny thing, isn't it? Someone has figured out they can make money by packaging and selling this most plentiful element on earth. And now we all pay for the privilege of carrying portable water with us everywhere we go.

As I was setting up utilities for my new house a few weeks ago, I was struck by how water even dominates our bills. I have arranged to pay for one utility company to pipe water into my house; a second to heat my water for me; a third to power my refrigerator to filter the water I want to drink; and a fourth to take the water away when I am finished with it. I am even paying a fifth company for peace of mind in case water ever leaks inside and damages my beautiful new house! Whoever says water is free isn't paying the utility bills.

In this world where even water isn't free, Jesus offers free water to all who ask for it. In John 4 we read that Jesus offered living water to a woman he met at the local watering hole, and even promised that once she drank this special water she would never be thirsty again. The water he referred to was eternal life, something that transcends any momentary needs we have. Imagine a modern-day company offering a product so satisfying that you would never need to replace or upgrade it!

Sometimes I lose sight of just how satisfying Jesus' eternal gift is, even in terms of my everyday life. I fret over the unknown, begrudging the pressures and stresses that constantly seem to crop up. But the whole point of the Christian life is that we are guaranteed to have troubles of many kinds; yet we can have peace anyway, because Jesus has overcome all the troubles life can throw our way.

Sitting in my hot car on this hot day, I choose to look at my water bottle and be reminded of Jesus' oh-so-satisfying gift of eternal life. What is a little sweat on my brow today, compared with the greatness of knowing I will spend the rest of eternity in comfort, in the presence of the one who made me?

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

Not even a cold drink of water.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. [Psalm 73:25-26]

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