You are walking through the desert and you are dying of thirst and wondering if you can take another step. The sky is blanketed by the sun making it blend together with the sand. You press on in hope of finding the end of desert and being protected from the scorching heat, the blinding sun, and the burning sand.
You see something shimmering in the distance. You walk towards it, and find a glass of ice cold water just sitting there in the sand. You fall to your knees giddy with joy, and you pick up the glass and start licking the condensation on the outside. You do not want to waste drop. You think, “But how? Who left this for me? Who knows I am here? Who can see me? He cannot be far away”
You start yelling, “Who is there? Please show yourself? I want to thank you?” You wait, but hear nothing. You begin to walk again, sipping as you go. You laugh, and sing and shout “thank you” over and over again.
Finally, you are out of water. Not even a drop of condensation is left, but you carry the glass anyway thinking “just maybe I will stumble upon a well, or stream” and you want to be prepared to catch the water with your glass, and drink your fill. You continue to sing out loud about the wonderful miracle of the glass of water, and the next thing you know your hand is cold. Lifting up your hand you see the glass is filled again with icy cold water. You immediately start rejoicing, this time dancing, and singing “thank you” over and over again.
This happens several more times until finally you are filled with so much water you you think you could pop. And your glass is still filled. Off to your right you see a man staggering into the sand. He is heading in the same direction you are, and you are bound to cross paths. At this point you are faced with a decision, share the water with this man, or change directions to keep what you have for yourself. You think to yourself, “Changing directions gives me a better chance of conserving water. Yes, it may have refilled itself, but maybe there is a limit. Isn’t it in my best interest to keep this a secret, and ensure my survival? I need to ration what I have.”
Then another voice enters into the debate and says, “How do you ration what you do not own? How can you determine how much to drink and how much to save when you do not know how much there is? Even if it does run out, would you rather die alone in the desert, or die with someone you have shared life with? Don’t your possibilities of survival increase in numbers? Wouldn’t you like to enjoy life with someone rather than life alone? Isn’t this a great joy that you want to share with this man? Feel your heart tighten when you think of leaving him. The truth is you want to save him as you were saved. You want to share the good news about this glass of water.”
It really is no decision at all – you start running towards the man. You both fall to your knees to give your feet a rest. You give him the glass and he starts to thank you, but you quickly cut off the praise and say, “Oh no, it is not me. I found this glass. Someone must have left it for me to find.” As he drinks you tell him the story about the glass and how it refills itself, and you encourage him to keep drinking because there will be more. The man finishes three glasses of water before you finish your story.
He looks around, and starts yelling, “Is anyone there?” You both listen intently, and hear just a faint sound coming from the direction you are traveling. Getting up, the two of you start walking together. Replenished and feeling strong, you both are singing and laughing with so much joy – like little children do when they play.
Your friend says, “Wouldn’t it be great to have a big hat to protect our heads?” And you respond, “Yes! What about some sunglasses to make it easier to see?” He agrees, and soon enough you both stumble upon two white wide brimmed hats and two pairs of sunglasses. And these are not just cheap sunglasses, they are polarized with UV protection and of incredible quality. Kneeling down to pick up the glasses you glance at your new buddy and smile in amazement. You both started laughing with uncontrollable joy. “How could this be? Someone heard us and gave us these gifts.” You both start yelling, “Who is there? Who are you that give us these great gifts?”
Waiting quietly, turning your head to see if you can hear anyone, you both finally hear something in the wind coming from the direction you are traveling. “Come” it says. Both of you pick up your glasses and hats, put them on and start walking again. The only thing you discuss are the amazing miracles, how much you must be loved, and how you want to tell the whole world.
Skipping and dancing as you walk, you sing loudly to the sand dunes and skies, which now are clearly defined because of the sunglasses. “Thank you! You love us, oh, how you love us! You are great and mighty! You are bringing us out of the desert but have already made us kings. Thank you! Our hats protect faces us from the scorching heat, and our glasses shield our eyes from the blinding sun. What have we done to deserve this great attention and love that you pour out on us? When can we meet you and praise your and have the honor of doing something wonderful for you?”
From the left and right two people are walking towards you, so you and your budding start shouting to them “Come and drink. We have a glass of icy cold water that never runs out.” They seem weak and slow, so you yell and encourage them to continue and not give up. Then suddenly your buddy starts running towards the one on the left, and you notice he has his own glass of water in his hands. So you start to run to the one on the right. Meeting up with the person, you both fall to your knees and you hand him the water. Like you did your first friend, you tell them about your good news, and by the time you are done he has had several refills.
Now all four of you are yelling, “Who’s there? Please show yourself. We want to thank you and praise you?” Again the wind carries a word, “Come. Just keep walking”.
With renewed strength you stand up and head back towards the other two and all four return on the journey you believe to be home. The four of you take turns sharing the hats and sunglasses. Singing and dancing you are on top of the world. You were once one person alone in the burning desert with no hope of surviving, but now you are a member of four survivors. But, to you it feels like the four of you are one person. Then one of you sing about shoes to protect your feet, and low and behold you stumble upon four pairs of shoes and two more hats and sunglasses.
Now you four sing so loudly that many people are coming from all directions. Each one of you miraculously find a glass of water in your hand. You all run out to meet the people where they are, share the water with them and tell them your good news. As you kneel there with your new friend you find a hat, sunglasses and shoes. While you help them get dressed because they are so weak, you tell them the story about the glass. Once you are finished, your friend is replenished and dressed and ready for the journey.
Before he gets up, he looks around, trying to find the person who left them these wonderful gifts. Seeing no one, you assure him that you all hear a voice coming from the direction you are heading. He hops up and you all start walking.
Again and again you are meeting new people in need and supplying them with water and your group of survivors is so large there are too many to count. Everyone has shoes, hats, sunglasses and a cup of water, and all are singing the same song of praise. All are dancing as they walk home. Some start praying for an oasis that would be sufficient enough for the entire group – a place with enough resources for building shelters, and enough food to feed them. But you and your friends never find an oasis. Instead you came upon the end of the desert and it is so plentiful and beautiful you called it Paradise.
As you walk into the bushes filled with sweet smelling flowers and fruit trees you come to lush green fields where you meet God. You run to Him and you hug Him so tightly He laughs. You and your friends fall to your knees to thank him by singing your song. You and your friends are all filled with so much zeal; you sing the song to Him over and over again. So many times, God can only laugh with joy, just as a father would when his children sing songs to him. He begins picking up each one of you just to hold you for a while, Putting one person down, He again picks up another one of your friends.
He says to you and your friends, “I gave you Blessings and you enjoyed every drop. You wasted nothing, and your time was spent joyfully even when you were in a desolate place, seemingly without hope. You made use of your time, and brought no harm to anyone, but rather brought hope and pleasure to anyone you met. And sharing these Gifts and Blessings with everyone you met became your pleasure and joy. You took the message to them where they were, just as I did for you. Your numbers multiplied. You bring me much joy and blessings. Stay here a while in paradise and enjoy yourselves. Keep singing so others will hear you and walk this way. And when I ask you to journey back into the desert to find other lost people, do not forsake me. Remember what I have done for you and what you have done for others, and bring more of my children home.”
This is the heart of the Chrsitian Faith – Christ is the Living Water that nourishes us. He meets us where we are to help us become the people God intends us to be. Jesus did this by dying on the cross with our past, present and future sins. As He was resurected clean and purified, we are clean and purified. We want to share this Good News to the world. That is it in a nutshell.
So how would you like to have a life that is like that glass? Do you want a glass that overflows (Psalms 23:5) with life giving water (John 4:14)? Then make a decision for Christ. If you are not convinced this life is possible, then stop wasting time and start doing your research about Jesus. Don’t just limit your research to what the atheists want you to believe, but also to what the bible scholars want you to believe. Open your mind and open your heart. I pray you come to the same conclusion I have, that Jesus is “…the way and the truth and the life. Nobody comes to the Father except through Him.” (John 14:6)