By Alan Bailey
On an average day, a couple use a staggering 450 litres of water! We take it for granted. It's just there at the turning of a tap. We drink it, we wash our dishes, ourselves and our clothes with it, water our gardens and flush our toilets, not to mention washing the car or filling the pool.
Common, yet not so common
Our planet has water in abundance when seen as a whole. The oceans are massive. Seventy percent of the earth's surface. There doesn't appear to be a great deal of it in the rest of the solar system. Two gases, hydrogen and oxygen. Simple chemically, but both common and rare. Plentiful but precious.
Today people buy bottled water to make sure of what they drink. Too many streams and bodies of water are polluted to some degree, some are too high in salinity. In developing countries where there is poverty and over-population, clean water is almost impossible to find. Yet it is essential for life.
Imagine what it must be like to wander in a blazing desert looking for water. If none is found, the body dehydrates, delirium increases and, finally, a shrivelling corpse lies inert in the glaring sun.
A notable conversation
A man sat on the side of a well in the hot Middle East. A woman came to draw water in a bucket and carry it away. He asked her for a drink and this began a conversation that has gone down in history. There was an amazing change of direction when he said he had water for her that would quench her thirst forever. His words were, "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 well of water welling up to eternal life."
People everywhere are thirsting for a new kind of life – a new quality of life. The woman in the story had tried in many ways to find what her heart craved. Jesus knew that and made the offer of a completely satisfying answer to her need. The offer stands today. Millions have availed themselves of it.
Christ came for the purpose of giving us life. Our existence had been affected by the pollution of sin. Spiritual death held sway. His death and resurrection brought about the availability of life without end. In receiving Christ, we receive life.
"Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life."•