Rivers of Living Water
“Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from [their] heart’.” (John 7:38–NLT)
We arrived just as we’d been promised–a helicopter delivering our group directly atop the 800-year old Taku Glacier some twenty miles outside Juneau.
We expected nothing less; after all, it’s what we’d paid for when we chose this particular excursion as part of our Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas‘ Alaskan cruise–to celebrate our upcoming 30th anniversary and my 50th birthday. Indicative of the beauty, excitement, and sometimes scary seasons of our three decades-old marriage–not to mention Bill’s thirst for adventure and my desire to abandon my more worrisome ways–we decided on this package. It seemed to offer it all–with both helicopter and speed boat travel, as well as hiking on a glacier.
When the pilot prepared to land, he told us several things. First, we were instructed to stay belted until the propellers came to a complete stop. Second, we were encouraged to venture out on the ice but were warned to stay within earshot at all times and only go where we could safely return in ten minutes’ time. Finally, we would be given the opportunity to drink some water.
Once it was safe to disembark, Bill and I waited by the helicopter for the water we’d been promised, but no plastic bottles were ever dispersed. Instead, after a minute or so, the pilot–perhaps realizing what it was we were waiting for–instructed us to climb a short way up the slippery slope. There we’d discover a steady stream flowing from the glacier–perfect for drinking.
Really? I let the thought flow from my mouth.
He answered, “It’s cleaner than any bottled water you could ever drink. Untouched and pure. Go ahead.”
Bill and I climbed several yards before discovering a small crevasse. Despite some silt debris–the result of imperfections in the air–much of the ice was unbelievably blue, cold water flowing along its frozen walls like little rivers.
“Here?” we asked, and the pilot nodded his approval, giving us a thumb’s up.
Then, like dogs, we took turns lapping the water, straight from the steady stream. Cold refreshment to cure our parched state, I giggled like a little girl–pure delight.
Joy bubbling over. Yes, Jesus-Joy–discovered on Taku Glacier in a simple stream of water located more than 3,500 miles from our home in western North Carolina.
Precious Jesus, thank you! No matter where we travel, you are always present–carried in and overflowing from yet imperfect hearts. Despite sin’s silt, Living Water flows freely–always and forever satisfying. We’re so abundantly blessed to be both vessels through whom you flow and your children, whom you love. Use us to quench the thirst of the parched. This we pray.