Monday, December 17, 2012


Some experts say that when we think we feel hungry and yet know we shouldn’t eat, we should drink a glass of water. The water will make us feel full and even give us renewed energy. Such is the miracle of water. We can apply this truth spiritually, too. When we hunger after things we know we shouldn’t have, we can instead partake of the Living Water that is always available. Only Jesus can satisfy our thirst.


A Place of Refreshment

While boating in the British Columbia inland ocean, my husband and I motored right up to a beautiful waterfall to fill our water containers. The water spilled down, splashing over us with a fine mist. The icy cold water felt refreshing on such a hot, sunny day. We stayed there for some time, allowing it to cool our bodies and freshen our dry throats.

Bethlehem was known as a place of refreshment at the time Jesus was born. The word Bethlehem means "house of bread." Back then, people leading camels and donkeys and other beasts of burden stopped in that bustling town for provisions. They also watered and fed their animals and themselves at one of numerous inns before heading south to Jerusalem or north to Hebron. The town's businessmen and women made sure they were ready for those who would be passing through.

But was Bethlehem ready for Jesus when he arrived? Was everyone except a few shepherds too busy, too blinded by worry and fear to care? Even the innkeeper shuttled Jesus' parents off behind the inn to a smelly, dark stable. Unaware that their guest was the Bread of Life himself, they didn't recognize the One who eventually would offer a refreshing cup of water, Living Water, to anyone who thirsted after Him.

Christians are encouraged to offer a cup of water in His name to those who are thirsty in both body and soul. Are we saying a kind word to the grumpy store clerk whose feet are tired, whose mind is fed up with impatient Christmas shoppers? Are we blessing—in the name of the One who can refresh —and praying for the stressed mom who is trying to finish baking, shopping, and serving others, all before the big day?

"He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." (Proverbs 11:25) Are we putting the needs of others before our own during this holy time of year, a time that has become harried or hopeless for many people? And if you don’t personally know the One who offers Living Water, what are you waiting for? The time to be spiritually refreshed as well as to be a spiritual refreshment can be right now.

Lord, we thank you for offering us refreshment of our body, soul, and spirit with the Living Water of your Word and your Spirit. As we travel on our own journey in life, may our hearts turn to you, the Bread of Life. And once having partaken of that wonderful gift, give us the willingness to share it with others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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