...ponderings on the journey of following Jesus Christ...
..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Hope for Life and the Scent of Water
“For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. 8Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; 9Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant. Job 14:7-9
This morning, in the prayer meeting I was in, this verse was read. I’ve recently started to try to sprout some things hydroponically that I would have normally thought of as dead, done, or incapable of new life. I put an onion, rather mushy, in a cup of water and overnight it sprouted roots so long it took me aback. I did that with shriveled garlic bulbs, and now celery. I transplanted some motherwort yesterday and it drooped hopelessly until I watered it well. There is an important lesson here.
Think about the life that God has put in every living thing. We all need water to survive. We all like watching the sea, we like sitting next to water, we like to drink cold glasses of water on a cold day. Roots of plants gravitate toward water. In these verses from Job it speaks of a tree that is cut down and yet when it catches the scent of water it starts to bud. The scent of water. Not even water itself, but the mere smell of it gives hope.
I keep thinking about the onion though, it had been picked from a field somewhere in America, traveled in a truck or plane, sat at the store, then sat in my storage drawer til it probably almost lost hope, and then I put it in water and it showed its life springing from up from its depths. It’s continuing to put forth green onion shoots-- I don’t know how it makes them, but at night when I trim the shoots, by the next day, they grow back. Profound. Disturbingly, wonderfully profound: the strength of life.
I think I resonate with this because I can identify with the onion. Sometimes it seems like walking across a dry desert with no water in sight, and feeling like any hope of water is gone, but then encountering, first, the scent of Water from heaven, and then the Water of Life itself and suddenly coming back to life and feeling whole again. How powerful an experience! Animals in the desert know the scent of water, they know how to find their way to its life-giving place. We, too, have instincts for God. Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink” (John 7:37). The prophet Isaiah also says, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!” (Isaiah 55:1). In the Book of Revelation a River of Life flows through the city of God.
There are things that cannot be quenched in our souls until we drink of that water. And how shall we drink? How is this not just some kind of religious phrase that sounds good but doesn’t connect with reality? Jesus addresses this when the pharisee, Nicodemus comes to him at night to discuss spiritual things (John 3:3-13). Jesus tells him he must be born of water and the Spirit and Nick doesnt get it. He says, “What? Go into my mother’s womb again?” Jesus, he had to be shaking his head, “You are a spiritual leader in Israel and you don’t understand this?”
We drink of that heavenly water through relationship with Jesus Christ. When we call out to Him, to quench our thirst, something in us is enlivened. Our spirit comes to life, like an onion responding to water, and we smell the scent of water, then drink of it. It is a spiritual process. I can’t explain how it happens just like I can’t explain how plants grow using just water. But the difference between drinking and not drinking is life and death. You know that. So go take a drink. And if you don’t know how, tell God about your thirst and let Him lead you to water. It will be then up to you to drink of it.