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We spent the week in Florida one year and visited the beach at the end of Flagler Avenue in New Smyrna. The place was bustling with sunbathers since a lot of people travel just after Christmas. The beautiful waves lapped up onto shore, noisy yet peaceful. The gulls swooped down hoping for tasty ocean treats. Occasional broken shells adorned the shore line with names scratched in the sand, while footprints along the way for the waves to wash slowly with each one that came ashore. People lounged on the sand as children played in the water nearby.
My hubby and I strolled along the damp beachside when I noticed something odd laying on the shining wet sand. I stopped to bend over looking closer at the orange jelly-like blob. It was a stranded jellyfish. I had nothing to scoop it up and put it back in the water, nor did I really know anything about doing such a rescue. I knew it would eventually die there. On our way back, I spotted yet another that was blue waving it's conical head slowly back and forth as it languished there on the sand. Seeing these poor creatures made me think about living the Christian life. They were stranded. Sometimes, we get stranded, too.
Main Passage:John 7:33-39
"Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them, nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
he will lead them to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
What's the Deal?
When my hubby and I walked down Flagler Avenue on Saturday night, we had no idea it was party central. We discovered this fact quickly. Several people were intoxicated. We could smell marijuana every once in a while. Some parents were taking their children around that party atmosphere, not seeming to be concerned about what their kids might experience. We cut our walk short, heading back to our hotel very uncomfortable with what we experienced. What if we caved in to the scene in our efforts to de-stress on vacation? We would be Christians out of our element "sucking air". What if we went out there with our Bibles preaching about the evils of their lifestyles, pedaling the message, “Repent, you wretched sinners!” Would we be like the Pharisees caught up in religiosity? What about the sunbathers on the beach, worshipping the sun and sand? Were they caught up in the feel of the moment escaping the reality of their need for refreshment for their souls? Are we like those jellyfish?
There was an annual feast in Jerusalem. People crowded the narrow streets loaded down from their long journeys to the city. For some, it was an important time they had prepared for. For others, it was another business day as usual, a great time to make up for lost sales from the rest of the year. Jesus left quietly after He was rejected in His hometown of Nazareth. He didn't want to be noticed because it was too early to reveal Himself to the general population. So, He attempted to be part of the general scene when He overheard some scholars talking among themselves. They wondered how He was able to read the Scriptures since they assumed He was never even taught to read. Jesus decided to answer their questions by saying He taught the doctrine that belongs to God. He also went on to say they knew the law, yet didn't do it. As a result, an intense discussion ensued. They wanted Jesus arrested and killed, but they were prevented supernaturally from doing so. He had revealed who He was to them anyway, yet they could not see it. They were blind in their religiosity. This group of Pharisees, devout teachers of the Law, totally missed His point.
Jesus went out on the last day of the feast t and loudly proclaimed to the crowds that He was the Living Water. Anyone who comes to Him will never thirst and living water would well up and spill over from those who believe in Him. They would receive the Holy Spirit whom they hadn't experienced yet. The very people who should have known Him rejected Him. Even His own brothers who spent so much time with Him didn't believe in Him. There were those who refused to believe in Jesus as the Messiah and others who were caught up in their own self-righteousness attending to business as usual. They were like those little stranded jellyfish laying haplessly on the beach.
When we allow ourselves to become beached by life's concerns, our spirits dry up. When we clothe ourselves in our own self-righteousness, we are spiritually naked to the elements. We must remain immersed in that Living Water, the love of our Savior. Our source of life is in Jesus. Nothing else can satisfy our thirsty souls. As Christians, we have that Living Water Jesus spoke of. Yet, some of us get caught up in religious rhetoric while others are swept away in the waves of life's challenges. We give in to overwhelming concerns, languishing, gasping for life. Apart from staying with the Word of God and the fellowship of other believers, we are like the blue jellyfish, flopping aimlessly, sucking air. Image by Kullerkeks from Pixabay.
The wonderful news is by knowing that Living Water we will also be in eternity. There will be living fountains of water for us. Jesus will be there with us and we will never hunger, never thirst. We will be satisfied. We will have Life. Do you know this Jesus, the source of Life? If you do, stay immersed in His Word with other believers and share that Living Water with others. If not, call out to Him to draw you back to Himself. He will fill you up to overflowing. We need the Living Water only He offers.
If you have questions or need prayer, email me. May God bless you!