O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Psalm 61:3
A few days ago, I was listening to Dr. David Jeremiah preach about how we doubt and question God's power. He used the parting of the Red Sea as an example. Dr. Jeremiah said many doubters and skeptics will point to this account and say it's just a metaphor or story and not really an example of the supernatural power of God. As Dr. Jeremiah discussed this story he would use the phrase, "dried up the Red Sea" at times instead of saying "parted".
"Dried up" really stuck in my mind as I thought of the account because most of us think about Charleton Heston standing before two huge walls of water...but dried up is a little different. Drying up the Red Sea might not look as dramatic as two large walls of water. For me, "dried up" is a more gradual process, like evaporation, which happens over a period of time. Sometimes, instead of thinking of God's supernatural power as huge drama and cinematic display, it could be more gradual and simple.
Isn't it true that God often saves us by allowing things to dry up? There are times that God let's our bank accounts to dry up causing us to turn to Him for provision and then shows us how He is truly our provide; not an employer or a trust fund. Sometimes our relationships dry up over time. Friends become distant and don't provide us with the attention we so desire; God allows this in our lives to show us that we should seek His face first and foremost and that we are loved by Him with a perfect and everlasting love. Sometimes our interests dry up because God wants us to move on to another area where we are truly gifted by Him and can impact His kingdom more.
So many times the Israelites are described as people wandering in a "dry and weary" land. It's hard to see my part of the world as dry and weary as it bursts into spring right now. Everything is green and lush. The trees are leafing out and gardens are tilled with rich, dark soil. Spiritually speaking, though, we all walk in the dry and weary at times. God has allowed some things to dry up in our life and often we walk in circles waiting for some rain or the well to suddenly fill.
When the Israelites felt the enemy hot on their trail they looked through that dried up sea and knew they had to make a beeline across it to escape the Egyptian soldiers with their fast moving chariots. God then sent the sea crashing in behind them which drowned their enemy and secured their escape. God does the same for us as He offered us an ever lasting well of Living Water in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus doesn't come crashing into our lives...He comes gently but offers us the same promise of escape from our enemies, freedom from the dry and weary land, and the promise of new life.
John 4 describes the time Jesus encountered the Samarian woman at the well who was seeking to fill her vessel at mid day. It was not common for women to collect water at mid day because of the heat of the day. Some believe this woman was an outcast and avoiding the other women of the town. Jesus tells her that the water she collects only provides temporary relief but that He is the living water that will always satisfy. The woman takes Him at His word and begs for the water Jesus provides. I imagine her life was devoid of solid friendships and lacking in day to day needs. This woman knew she could no longer seek satisfaction in her circumstances but needed something more.
Later in Chapter 7, Jesus is about to face trial and cries out, "On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Jesus not only provides what you need but will provide so much that it will flow from your heart. I believe Jesus wanted His people to know that what He was offering would overflow because He would soon not be with them physically.
The overflow of Jesus in our hearts should provide relief and comfort for those whose lives are dried up. Sometimes we think we are in the dry land again. Dr. Jeremiah pointed out in his message that years after the parting of the Red Sea, God parted or dried up the Jordan River to make way for another escape. God repeated this miracle to remind His people of His promises and power. We may find ourselves in rotten circumstances again but God's power and Jesus' living water continue to flow. Even though circumstances and people change, the source of the power and the Living Water do not change.