Despite having grown up on an organic farm, I’m a gardening hack. My rows are crooked. Clover creeps between the green beans and corn. And a pest has nibbled so many holes through my greens that my Swiss chard looks like Swiss cheese.
But the one thing I do know about gardens is that they need a steady source of water. So most bright summer mornings, I dutifully stretch the garden hose from the spigot under my kitchen window, down the dirt driveway and connect it to the sprinkler beside my garden. Then I turn it on.
Only when I tried recently, nothing came out. Puzzled, I headed back toward the house to ask my husband to check the water pump, when I came upon a kink in the hose. As soon as I untwisted it, water shot from the end of the sprinkler toward my thirsty plants and dry soil.
Obvious, right? But as I retraced my steps toward the house, a still small voice whispered to my spirit, “What kinks are stopping your water supply?”
Scripture compares those who delight in God’s law to trees planted along a riverbank. “Their leaves do not wither, and they prosper in all they do” (Psalm 1:3, NLT). And the prophet Isaiah spoke of a time when God would “pour out water to quench your thirst… and I will pour out my spirit on your descendants, and my blessings on your children” (Isaiah 44:3).
Roughly 700 years later, Jesus referred to these words when he met a Samaritan woman, drawing water from a well, and offered her living water. “Those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again,” he said (John 4:14). “It becomes a fresh bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” Soon after, he spoke to a crowd gathered at the temple, saying “Anyone who is thirsty, come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink” (John 7:38).
To those who receive him, Jesus promised, “Rivers of living water will flow from their heart” through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Where does this living water come from? Psalms speak of it as a “river that brings joy to the city of our God” (Psalm 46:4). And Revelation 22:1 says that this river of life flows from the very throne of God.
Imagine having access to such a supply! One that brings not only joy and life but causes you to prosper, blesses your children, satisfies your longings, bubbles up fresh, flows out to others and results in eternal life. So how do we get this water?
First, like the woman at the well, receive it through faith in Jesus, the supply line. Second, connect to the spigot through obedience to God. Third, invite the Holy Spirit to flow through you. And daily, ask God to search your heart and show you any kinks blocking the supply—whatever offends him (Psalm 139:23-24).
Meadow Rue Merrill, the author of Redeeming Ruth: Everything Life Takes, Love Restores, writes for children and adults from a little house in the big woods of midcoast Maine.