Water 2.0

January 16, 2013

I am frequently amazed by the strangest things. It’s not even that they’re necessarily that cool, rather it may be my inability to understand them – or perhaps my amazement over the fact that they are true. Let me give you an example. We have this plant in the living room of our home – it’s called a peace lily – and this thing apparently has super-plant powers or something. You see, neither my wife nor I will ever be accused of being expert gardeners, or even average ones for that matter, yet we attempt to grow plants around our home quite frequently. When the inevitable happens and we forget to water them for weeks at a time most of them shrivel up and die.

However the peace lily apparently just pretends to die. It may be playing possum or something. Because while the other plants take almost as long to recover from our neglect as the neglect in the first place, within hours of receiving a drink of water the peace lily appears as though nothing had ever happened – like a normal, well taken care of, properly nurtured plant. It’s pretty incredible actually – and it happens every time. I don’t understand it, and even as I am pouring the water in to the plant for seemingly the three hundredth time, I doubt the fact that it will work again this time. Like I said – the strangest things amaze me. I don’t know whether it’s that the plant could live through such neglect, or the affect that the water can have on it in such a short time that amazes me more – but they’re both impressive.

Because I am a person of faith, sometimes professionally even, my thoughts frequently turn to the subject when I find myself amazed by something. In the fourth chapter of John, Jesus tells a Samaritan woman at a well that He will offer her “living water” – and she will “never thirst again.” It doesn’t make a lot of sense to her, and she seems weary and hesitant at first, but there’s just something about this man that’s different, and all that He knows and what He says amazes her. And while we don’t find out exactly how her story progresses from that moment on, I think it’s fair to say her life was never the same after that.

The “living water” Jesus refers to here is God’s Holy Spirit that He sends to live in those who accept Christ. And even after all I’ve seen and been through, I am still amazed at what this water can do. Despite years of neglect this water can restore relationships – both between family and friends, and between creation and creator. Sometimes within moments of getting a drink of it, people’s lives go from seemingly dead to newly and almost fully alive. And it cleanses stains from our lives that we’ve spent entire lifetimes trying to get out. This is some pretty powerful stuff.

I’m glad things still easily amaze me. It makes me feel like a child – and that’s not always a bad thing. I’m also glad that even after twenty some years of religious experience I’m still amazed by the things God can do in my and other people’s lives. Peace lilies are cool, God changed lives are beyond description. Both impressive, both things I don’t understand – and yet seemingly incomparable. And while I’ll never be a master gardener, and I’ll never be able to explain to people all that God can do – I know where I’m going to get my water from now on…

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