My daughter’s little plant, in its clear plastic cup, was drooping when I came down for breakfast this morning. It sits in our kitchen bay window, where the night’s cold weather probably exacerbated its fragile state. Its’ tightly curled leaves clung from limp stems and for the first time, I noticed that its roots were pressed firmly to the sides of the cup, begging for H2O. ‘If it survives,’ I thought, ‘a repotting would be in order.’ I took it to the sink, sprinkled it carefully, and put it back in the morning sunlight.
Often, things are more resilient than they appear. By the time I’d eaten, finished my tea, and read the paper, the plant was completely revived. I had met its most basic need – water.
We all know there was no magic involved. The roots carried the water upward and nourished the plant’s cells. So it is with me. I too, need water. Living water. Too often I forget that it is always available to me – a gift freely given. I rely only on insufficient ‘helps’ – my intellect, my creativity, my willpower, my handy electronic gadgets – to reach out in all directions, micromanage my time and my life, and cover as much ground as possible. The end is always the same. I hit my walls of exhaustion, resentment, and anger.
When I have done this to myself, and am therefore left weakened and easily battered by the elements of this world, the help I need is within. The roots of my soul must reconnect with the living water. The Spirit is my refreshment, restoration, hope, and source of love and comfort. And it gives me the assurance that I need never go thirsty again.
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God
and who it is that asks you for a drink,
you would have asked him
and he would have given you living water.”
– John 4:10