“This is what the LORD says: ‘I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.’” And the water has remained wholesome to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken. 2 Kings 2:21b-22 (NIV)
In Egypt, I had some lettuce that had been washed with the local water. Within hours, I knew that I had made a mistake. Forget Mexico’s "Montezuma’s Revenge". The "Pharaoh’s Curse" is worse!
Today, approximately 6,000 people will die of waterborne diseases like typhoid, cholera, and dysentery. Most of you will not be personally acquainted with any of those 6,000. That you, your children, and grandchildren are not among those 6,000 who will die today should be cause for having a thankful heart. We should also be appreciative that we won’t be part of the 6,000 who will die tomorrow or the day after that. Those of us who have safe water from the sink should be glad we are not part of the 1 billion people around the world who have no access to safe drinking water.
We should also be most grateful for a new invention called the LifeStraw. Produced by a Danish company, the $3 LifeStraw has the ability to change the future of many of those thousands who once were destined to die. LifeStraw, which uses no electricity; needs no spare parts, and calls for no maintenance, has the ability to filter 185 gallons, or a year’s worth of water for parched souls.
Can any of us truly understand what this invention might mean to a mother who has watched some of her children die because they drank unsafe water? Can any of us comprehend the peace that will come to those people for whom a drink of water has been like betting your life on the spin of a roulette wheel?
Of course, we can’t understand. But the people of Jericho in the days of the Old Testament prophet, Elisha, could. The only water they had was unfit. When they shared their plight with the prophet, he threw some salt in the spring and gave God’s free promise: “I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.” Today, the spring still flows, and the city is an oasis in the desert.
In a similar way, God’s grace for sinful humanity is free. Unable to change our conditions, we were doomed. But God, in His love, sent Jesus to make things better. Through His life, death and resurrection, He has become the Fount of water that gives forgiveness, life and salvation. What does it say in the last chapter of Revelation? It says, “let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” That is what Jesus is. He is water for life in this world and the next.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for Your sacrifice that allows me to drink at the well of eternal life, I am in awe. May every drop of clean, safe water I drink today remind me of Your free gift. In Your Name, Amen.