Drink Deep

A little learning is a dang’rous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.

Alexander Pope An Essay on Criticism

In the yarn shop where I work, we have two peace lilies. Since we are closed two days straight, sometimes the plants don’t get watered, and we find them wilted and limp. However, within a few minutes of a healthy dose of water, they perk up and stand tall and lush. It’s amazing what a good drink of water can do. It’s even more amazing what a drink of living water can do for you.

For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

Jeremiah 2:13

The peace lilies don’t get a say in where they get their water; they are at our mercy. We, however, can choose where we get our water. In biblical times, there were at least two sources of water: fountains (springs) and cisterns. Of the two, a spring was the preferred source because it flowed continuously from underground, while a cistern was merely a temporary holding of rainwater and was subject to the elements. The Israelites had not only chosen the cistern over the springs, but they had chosen a broken cistern that literally could not hold water.

Spiritually speaking, people do the same thing. They chase after the broken things of this world: knowledge, money and power. Eventually, all of these things will fail. We need to go to the source of unending fountains of water if we want to be truly satisfied. We also need to drink deep of the water. Unlike the lilies, we need more than just a sip now and then. We need continual glasses of water to keep us spiritually healthy. How do we do that?

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

John 7:38

First, we have to believe and have a relationship with Christ the source of living water. Then, we need to keep the pipes clear through prayer, Bible study, and worship. It’s not just a sip either. It’s a life dedicated to following Christ’s example, which takes effort on our part. It’s not a 6-week program; it’s a life-long journey. We need to take long drinks so that we can be spiritually prepared to be his hands and feet in the world. He wants to use us for His glory but we are of no use if we are dehydrated.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

So, let’s stay close to the source and take deep drinks so that we can thrive no matter what environment we find ourselves in. The world cisterns won’t hold water, but we know where the true source of life is found and need only to ask and we will receive all we will ever need.

Drip or Fountain?

My cat Meep is fascinated with moving water and loves to drink and play with the slow drip at my kitchen faucet. She sits in the sink and catches the drips on her tongue or even on her head. Sassy, the calico cat, washes her paws in the water bowl and then washes her face. Rudy, the shop cat at work, will often drink out of the toilet bowl instead of the water bowl I set out for him if I don’t keep an eye on him. It amazes me how they will go out of their way to drink the least satisfying sources of water and play with the good sources, but are we often guilty of the same thing?

God provides a fountain flowing with living water if we will only drink of it, but how often do we go for less satisfying sources? We submerge ourselves in all kinds of pursuits, trying to quench a thirst that can only be satisfied by a relationship with God. Some people chase after wealth or fame, some after worldly pleasures, and even others dedicate themselves to a religion. However, none of these will fill the God-sized hole in our hearts.

It is like those days when you have a craving, a taste for something that you can’t identify. You eat everything in the pantry, but none of it will satisfy that craving. It is not until you finally realize what you are in need of that you can satisfy your craving. All the other foods leave you wanting more and often have the down side of causing weight gain, which only makes you sluggish, just as chasing after the worldly pleasures often leaves you weighted down. They are poor substitutes for the real thing.

When we finally recognize our need for God and allow Him to take His place in our lives, then we can finally feel satisfied. It is an eternal fountain that will quench our thirst forever. If we will only give up the substitutes, the drips, and drink at the fountain, then we will never thirst again.