I once heard it said that the last thing a fish knows is water.
It flips and rolls in its liquid universe unaware of its dependence on sea, lake, or river until it surfaces to a world of too much oxygen, takes its last little fish gasp, so to speak, and expires. We can only imagine its final awareness narrowing to panic, its gills twitching in terror.
Man shares something with that water-deprived fish: we sometimes don’t realize what we have until it’s gone, or nearly gone, or until we get too near some fatal awareness of our own…
What H2o is to a fish, God’s Word is to man’s spiritual life. St. Paul wrote about it this way: “Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:25-26, KJV).
Unlike sea, lake, or river, however, the water Christ gives nourishes and sustains within; His Word purifies and powers the spirit.
Jesus put it this way: “(Whosoever) drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).
How to get this water? “If any man thirst,” (Jesus, again) “let him come to me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (7:37-38). John adds, “But this spake he of the Spirit which they that believe on him should receive” (39).
The water of God’s Word, cleansed at Calvary, flows from the font of grace through the pens of prophets and apostles to thirsting hearts. And, like the Word Made Flesh, the Word scripted remains the same “yesterday, today, and forever.”
It’s easy to take the power and necessity of God’s Word for granted, though, until, brought to the surface of some crisis whether by choice or by chance, we panic like that ill-fated fish. We wonder where is God? How will I survive? Fortunately, He is near.
And when we do return to His Word, we realize again the life-renewing power of parable, epistle, and psalm; the truth coursing deep: “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:8).
Cleanse, refresh, and renew yourself in the Word of God today. I’ll be there, too.
Photo from public domain: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=15553&picture=fish-in-sun-rays