By Joan Clayton
The 24-hour shutdown of water recently brought to my attention appreciation of the lack of, simple things. I thought of my great grandparents who had 11 children. They carried buckets to the windmill and filled them with water and thanksgiving. They had only the basics of life … no plumbing … no electricity … no automobiles … no television. Yet, they reared happy healthy children rooted in family values. Granny Lowe’s poems tucked away in her family Bible reveal her dedication and love for God.
My grandmother kept a bucket of water on her kitchen cabinet with a dipper to drink from. My husband remembers Saturday night baths, as he was the last one to get a bath in the same water.
Water rights in frontier times brought many disagreements and hostilities. Cattle and sheep ranches had to have water. Water is more precious than gold.
Each morning I awaken to see birds on my roof. They are waiting for frost to melt to drink from the troughs and I am reminded once again how God has provided even nature with water and food. God tells me in Matthew 6:26-27 to not worry about what I will eat or drink. Birds do not sow or reap; yet he feeds them.
Water is a necessity of life. Without it life cannot exist. Yet, how many times do we take it for granted? In emergencies we realize how desperately the basics of life are needed. Sometimes we don’t appreciate things until they are taken away. I am so grateful for air to breathe, food to eat, and yes, good clean water to drink. It is recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water a day for optimum health. I find that a different kind of water also sustains our life here and in the hereafter.
Water is mentioned many times in the Bible. Wells in ancient times and today as well take priorities for water for physical conditions, but what about spiritually? Do you ever feel a thirst for God? I do, and it is at those times that I feel like “a deer, panting for streams of water” (Psalm 42:1). As the deer depends on God for water, my life depends upon God.
Jesus told the woman at the well, “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 NIV).
Jesus is the only one who can quench my thirst, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him” (John 7:38 NIV).
I found a wonderful blueprint for a successful life in Psalm 1:3: “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
Revelation 22 verse 1 and 2 reveals a river of life awaiting God’s child. It is called “Water of Life,” and is clear as crystal. It flows from the throne of God and flows down the Center of Main Street. On each side of the river grows “Trees of Life.”
What a picture. What a place. What a “Water of Life!”
I am so grateful to those who worked so hard in freezing temperatures to restore our city water. While we were in our cozy warm beds, you were wet, cold and steadfast in the work you had to do. I thank all of those who helped in any way. I am blessed to live in a town with so many caring people. A “Thank You” seems so small but we need you. Thank you for the water and thank God for the River of Life!
Joan Clayton is a retired teacher and religion columnist living in Portales.