Thirsty? Refresh at the Well.

Are you involved in ministry somehow?  Perhaps people come to you seeking advice and instruction, and you're readily available to help them.

Whatever it is, whether it's part of your job, you are a pastor of a large church, a Sunday School teacher in a preschool department, a leader for a big organization, or a factory worker who loves the Lord, God has placed a desire in you to reach out to a lost and hurting world - to point them to the Living Water.  After awhile, though, as you continually pour out and pour out into others, your spirit begins to run empty. 

Several years ago, on a beautiful June morning, Rick and I decided to take a hike through some local woods.  We drove down to where the trail began and noticed the sign that read "Trail - 1 1/2 miles". 

"No sweat!" we thought.  We'd brought water for the journey, but seeing that it was only a mile and a half walk, we left it in the truck. 

The trail was beautiful.  Flowers were blooming and the leaves on the trees were brilliant shades of green.  We took our time as we meandered the pathway, often spending more time that we should have looking at a rock formation or climbing down to a dried up creek bed.

Over time, the sun took its place at high noon and the temperatures rose to a sultry summer high.  Sweat poured off of us as the trail seemed to take an uphill climb.  Beginning to grumble, my mouth ached for a drop of cool, refreshing water.  Oh, there were a few small stagnate pools along the path from a previous rain, but I wasn't about to partake of their substance.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, we reached the top of the hill.  To our horror, instead of the trail looping back to our truck, it had opened up on a stretch of roadway we had travelled over previously.  Aaaahhh!  This couldn't be!

Rick began to search his pocket.  Yes!!  He had put his debit card in his pocket - something he rarely took with him on outings such as this.  We recognized the point in the road enough to know there was a ranger station just around the corner.  That was our only hope of getting help and refreshment.

Walking into the station, we dripped wet with perspiration, and unfortunately, smelled as if we'd been hiking in the summer heat for quite some time.  Our throats were parched and multiple mosquito bites were dotted up and down our arms and legs.  Rick bought two waters and we sat down in the shade to pour the clear liquid gold into our parched bodies.  Oh my...that bottled water never tasted so good.

Finally, after a time of sitting and resting, we made the trek back to our vehicle via the roadway, some four miles away.  Never again would I take that trail, especially unprepared.

This story reminds me of those of us in ministry or those who constantly pour themselves into other people's lives.  Over time, if we are not continually going back to the Well for a helping of His Living Water, we will end up parched and ineffective. 

More often than not, we spend time in the Word or in prayer, but it becomes stagnate or routine.  It's in those times that God whispers, "Thirsty? Come. Sit before me and rest.  Let me refresh you with something that will satisfy your thirst."

John 7:37 says, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

Isaiah 58:11 says, "The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."

And finally, Proverbs 11:25 says, "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."

Friend, wherever you are today - whether your pitcher is full or running on empty, take time to refresh yourself before the Father.  Only then can the Living Water splash down on others who are in desperate need of a drink.