As the two volunteers showed up at the busy youth camp to help, the mother and her teen hoped to quickly get over their status as “the new kids on the block.” With long days filled with serving and working with hundreds of guests each week, the Liz and Robert had seen little of the 82 acres of the camp set like a jewel in the forest.
At one early morning staff meeting, one of the counselors piped up, “Hey, Liz and her boy haven’t been to Iron Springs! They’ve got to see it!”
Camp Director Bill agreed, “Absolutely! It’s a site they’ll never forget!”
“Amazing!” another counselor commented.
“Awesome! It’s great! Unforgettable!”
And there were smiles all around.
“And it’s such a short hike! We can do it after we serve breakfast!” offered another youth leader.
“Done!” Camp Director Bill agreed. “Brady, you and Marcus take them up the hill,” he directed two of the counselors.
“You don’t need much water,” Marcus told them.
So with one nearly-empty canteen slung over her teen’s shoulder, Liz and Robert began the zig-zag climb on the dusty trail up the mountain, their bare legs scratched by undergrowth.
“How much farther?” panted middle-aged Liz, contemplating her cellulite earned by years invested in parenting instead of work-outs.
“Just a few more bends in trail,” grinned Counselor Brady as he led them upward.
But the path turned into more bends in the trail than in a card of bobby pins.
“I can see it!” Marcus shouted. “Just ahead! We’re here! Come see Iron Springs!”
As Liz and Robert rounded the turn in the path, they spotted the springs, which made them thirstier than ever: A pile waist-high of bed springs, screen door springs, car springs, and all other sizes and functions of springs known to man. All rusty and dry sitting on a leveled out piece of dusty grounds. No water anywhere.
“I told you. You just had to see this!” Marcus cried. He and red-faced Brady laughed until they were bent over, coughing with glee.
Liz wasn’t so amused, especially as she and her son hiked the two-miles down. It felt like twenty, they’d drained the canteen and were still thirsting for water.
Liz remembered that researchers discovered that by the time a person feels thirsty, he or she is already dehydrated. She was parched.
Water means life – for all. But Jesus offered another type of water which never leads to thirst or dehydration.
To the woman at the well in Samaria, he said, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” [John 4:13-14]
The spring water offered by Jesus brings life forever.
As spring approaches with the promise of new life, consider these words of prophesy written nearly 700 years before the birth of the Messiah:
“For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” [Isaiah 61:11.]
In addition to feeling satisfied with the living water he offers, the Messiah brings righteousness– a bonded relationship between him, us, and all our relationships.
Leave the rusty springs and empty water bottles behind. The path to the Messiah bubbles with hope and life-giving water. Those are the springs worth the entire journey.
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]