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The Place of Living Waters
—A Parable for Today

We all love a good story, their simplicity blesses us with honesty and insight. We like this one. Pray you will, too.

There was once a vast desert; it was terribly hot and very dry. Though not a place fit for plant or beast the whole of humanity found itself trudging through the burning sand of this desolate and disagreeable wilderness longing for shelter from the scorching sun, a cool place to rest, and something, anything to drink.

Well, it so happened that at one point along the way a crystal clear spring bubbled up out of the naked rock. No one knows who discovered it, that secret has long since been lost. Yet for countless generations, the pilgrims journeying along the path of life stopped to refresh themselves at that spring. As they did so, they found to their surprise and delight the waters not only quenched their thirst, but satisfied deeper needs as well, very deep needs.

Bubbling SpringSomehow drinking from that source (fount) they found not only their minds but bodies healed. Hope and courage grew strong again and their life sweetened, rich with fresh meaning. Picking up their various burdens they could take to the way once more with new hearts, with renewed minds. The spot came to be called “The Place of Living Waters, and the spring itself “The Water of Life.

Now, as time went on, various travelers began to roll boulders up around the spring, monuments of gratitude. As the generations and centuries passed, these monuments became more elaborate until at last the spring was completely enclosed, arched over by a great fortress-like cathedral and protected by high stone walls. It’s refreshing splash could no longer touch the weary with its healing unseen power. Preservation of the crystal clear water became so important that dignified men with special robes and a language all their own set rules for protecting the purity of the well.

Access was no longer free to all, and disagreements as to who could drink there, when and even how would sometimes grow so bitter that wars were fought over them.…1

Cell Phone
Every human being, all of us, is born thirsty. Consciously or unconsciously, we spend our lives searching for some “thing” to fill the deepest longings of our restless hearts. We believe if we could only be “somebody,” own the latest smart phone, have our friends and colleagues look up to us and spend holidays at the cottage on the lake we would have “arrived,” finding that deep inner joy of complete satisfaction.

Reflect back, for a moment, over the years of your life, what do you see? Did the feeling you had the day you drove your new car home or first turned the key to your new house last? Has happiness come from a happening? Your contentment here today only to be gone tomorrow? In seeking to quench your “thirst” have things worked out as you had hoped? Have your dreams dissolved into disappointment and frustration over and over again?

Assuredly, that’s not what God has in mind for you. Here is something He wants you to understand, “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”2God intends that each and every one of your days will be unique, full and triumphant. That your life be filled with dynamic pleasure, your worried, anxious heart find innermost calm and rest in the relaxation of continual peace, that cannot and will not ever disappear.

There is one way, one hope, one place and a dedicated one–the urgent voice of Christ.

“Then He said unto me,…To the thirsty I will freely give water from the life-giving spring. … " 3

"… there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David …" 4

Now comes the most amazing and astonishing part? Its ALL yours for free. Isaiah puts it this way,

“Hey there! All who are thirsty,
come to the water!
Are you penniless?
Come anyway—buy and eat!
Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk.
Buy without money—everything’s free!
Why spend your money on something that is not real food?
Why work for something that doesn’t really satisfy you?
Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best,
fill yourself with only the finest.
Isa 55:1-2 MSG/NCV

As you can tell this is one invitation you won’t want to let slip by. “The [Holy] Spirit and the bride (the church, the true Christians) say, Come! And let him who is listening say, Come! And let everyone come who is thirsty [who is painfully conscious of his need of those things by which the soul is refreshed, supported, and strengthened]; and whoever [earnestly] desires to do it, let him come, take, appropriate,and drink the water of Life without cost."5

Let God work for you. He knows exactly what you need. He can and will make you the happiest, healthiest, most trustworthy person on planet earth. Come and see.

  • 1. Adapted from “The Well and the Cathedral” by Ira Progoff
  • 2. Jer. 29:11 (MSG)
  • 3. Rev. 21:6. (CEB)
  • 4. Zech. 13:1.
  • 5. Rev. 22:17 (AMP)


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