Salvation ... comes from the Lord ... because they take refuge in him. (Psalm 37:39-40)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Nature Strikes Again

            Within a month's time, our region in Pennsylvania and our nation's capital have seen not just two major forces of nature (the earthquake and hurricane discussed in my previous blog post), but this week also a flood of historic proportions. Streams and creeks swelled far over their banks causing scores of road closings, washing away possessions, cars, and homes, and even several person's lives. Basements of buildings not usually prone to flooding were filled with water from the saturated soil, The devastation and following cleanup are overwhelming for many. Too much water in too short a time creates huge problems.

            Meanwhile, too little water over an extended period of time create drought conditions of the opposite extreme. At the same moment people are enduring flood damages in PA, people are losing all they have in Texas due to wild fires. Historic hot temperatures with no rainfall has created similar conditions of homelessness and  hopelessness.

            Scripture records a consistent pattern of Jesus  teaching a spiritual lesson in the happenings of nature. When He encountered a Samaritan woman drawing water from a well to quench her thirst, he took the opportunity to explain Refuge as drinking of the "living water." At first she did not understand how He could provide water to quench her thirst when He had no instrument with which to draw water from the well. She questioned Him about the nature of this water.  Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14).

            In the natural, man and beast alike cannot survive without a consistent supply of water in quality and quantity.  Too little or too much rainfall can create extreme conditions of drought or flooding. For a person's soul to find Refuge in God's provision, he must allow Christ Jesus to "become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). Depending on God for this "living water" is the only guarantee of drinking the right amount in the right timing. The pressures and storms of life may come and go, but God consistently provides Refuge in the times of trouble (Ps 46).

            This remains true throughout a spiritual journey of drinking water from Christ's well of Refuge. Jesus speaks of a deeper worship experience in the same conversation mentioned above (in John 4).  As a person grows in their relationship with God as Refuge, he or she knows God in greater measures of His justice and mercy.  "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24).  
            From a perspective of Refuge in Jesus, life is much more than a natural existence. Each person is more than a body. Each is a "living soul" (Gen 2:7; KJV), a spirit being created to know God and be known by Him. As a disciple of Christ journeys through life, this fellowship of knowing and being known by God is meant to awaken the spirit part of the person in greater and greater measure. Spiritually speaking, we may go through drought or flooding. We may experience hurts or woundings. We may offend or become offended. We may drift from the duality of worshipping God in "spirit and truth." But healing does not have to wait until life on earth is done. God wants us healed to live the rest of our lives drinking "living water" and worshipping Him genuinely in "spirit and truth."

            If  you are relatively satisfied with your place of Refuge at the present time, and you are drinking from the well of Christ's grace and truth, let me encourage you in two ways. First, continue to worship in both spirit and truth so you are prepared to avoid the extremes of drought or flooding when the storms of life may strike. Also, do what you can to help others draw from the Well and discover the living water.

            For each person reading this I pray that you can find His healing water, drink freely, and find Refuge for your soul. Find a Bible and read Psalm 63. Here are the first two verses to make you thirsty. 

O God, you are my God,
   earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
   my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
   where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
   and beheld your power and your glory.   (Ps 63:1-2)

            The book Escaping the Pain of Offense: Empowered to Forgive from the Heart is  now available. I pray that many will also find this book a helpful tool in finding and deepening Refuge in Christ.

by Ed Hersh, Blue Rock BnB Healing Ministry