The Wonderful World of Water image

The Wonderful World of Water

Back in the spring I went on a guided prayer retreat in Spain (suffering for Jesus!). On the last day we took a trip to the beach and did a Bible study on the theme of water, to stimulate our praying.

Now, water is pretty impressive. I’ve seen films about it, heard sermons about it, heard it used in multiple illustrations. I’ve even, on occasion, been known to drink the stuff.

But what more could there possibly be to learn? And how could that inspire me to prayer?

Here are just two things that have been buzzing around my head ever since:

Streams of living water

First, God promises us streams of living water, not just a really big vat or ‘unlimited jars’. Why? Well, standing water soon gets stagnant and undrinkable; it needs to keep flowing to stay fresh. But what God also said to me was that this means it is new every morning.  Even though it has been running through the water cycle for millennia, it is fresh and new for me at its source. Daily.

That’s quite an exciting thought – that I’m not just running on what he’s given me in the past, but he makes it new day by day. Nice.

Water formation

Second, water is, as far as I know, the only element that both erodes and creates. It actually makes rock formations.

When we were kids, our parents often took us on day trips to visit underground caves, like the one pictured above. (In England, in the summer, a cave is often the best option for a day’s activity!) We grew familiar with the idea that as water drips down through cracks in limestone rock it takes microscopic bits of the rock with it and deposits them on the floor below or, if it is particularly slow-moving, on the ceiling. Over the years, these deposits build up into whole new bits of rock.

I’ve got a postcard somewhere of one immense pile that looked (with the lights shining on it the right way, if you squinted and used just a pinch of imagination) like a man in a voluminous Victorian cloak, playing an organ. I can’t find any pictures of it on the internet, so I imagine the water has continued to drip and the formation now looks uncannily like a vast, rippled lump of rock.

Of course, wind blows sand and other light objects around, and shapes the landscape, but not like that.

I’ve thought before of God’s streams of water smoothing out my rough edges, and washing away all that is not of him, but it was only as I pondered the stalactites and stalagmites that I realised he also builds new things in me. As his Spirit flows through me, it leaves deposits of himself which build up into pillars of strength and spires of beauty.

How truly amazing water is. There always seems to be more to discover about it - and it definitely inspired me to worship that day.

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