Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: River (08/31/06)
- TITLE: The Outlandish Proposition
By Paula Carrigan
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"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'"
John 7: 37b-38, NASB
The satisfied needn’t come.
My philodendron drapes leaves in ever-sprouting tendrils. There is always a new leaf stretching away from the stalk like a gymnast. At first, it looks like a mini-stalk itself, but then it uncurls and opens its breast to the sun. When I water this plant, the water travels through an efficient circulatory system so that eventually droplets form on the tips of the last leaves on the longest tendrils.
The quality this plant seems to have is thirst. When I water, it seems to say, “Ah, that. Thank God it’s here.” And it drinks deeply. Every leaf is affected. Its entire being lifts. Leaves that were crinkling in on themselves broaden toward the window. The leaf stems rise to tiptoe.
I also have several palms. They harbor every pestilence. New stalks turn brown before opening. They look parched, decrepit. And when I water . . . no response. The water seems to run to the plate below and lie stale.
So, the soul can be. It can be decrepit, parched, dark in every place. But Jesus implies it can also thirst and swallow and then He promises that it can be flooded with a river of eternal life.
However, Jesus only mentions thirst; it is not his primary emphasis. In fact, without water, the thirst of my philodendron makes it no more likely to live than my palm. So thirst is essential but not sufficient. The emphasis of Jesus’ comment is on the quality of this supernatural water.
If my philodendron were watered with the type of water Jesus describes, from its core would flow rivers of living water. It would gain, in that drink, all that’s necessary for an everlasting life of the best quality. This is water like no plant has ever known.
So it is with the soul. Soul-thirst is of great value if there exists something to satisfy it. Jesus claims that such a substance exists. But, what is this water? It is His own kind of life – good and eternal. It’s an outlandish promise. He claims that if I drink deeply, nourishment will travel to even the most remote places within and without. New life will spring in crevices forgotten, even those I wish to forget. I will begin uncurling today and will never cease. Because I’ve been observing this Waterer, I trust His outlandish proposition, and with some hope and some fear, for this water will flood every place, I go to this River for a good long drink.
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