Come to the Waters

February 22, 2014

Continuing my thoughts on the subject of fatigue, my memory goes back to the early days of motherhood, before the babies were sleeping the night. How many months can a person go without uninterrupted sleep? With Darling Daughter #1, God had mercy on me in six weeks, after which we could get seven or eight hours straight. But Darling Daughter A (born weighing 9 pounds, 6 ounces, by the way) was still waking up in the middle of the night at five months. I remember being so completely exhausted in September 1983 that I cancelled my involvement in every single activity I had been trying to maintain. I was grouchy and desperate for relief. “This, too, passed,” but not before I had seen the ugly side of my spirituality and realized what a fair-weather friend I was to God. 

That’s when I simply had to put into action God’s invitation to “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters” (Isaiah 55:1). My very ordered 5:30 a.m.-like-clockwork quiet time went by the wayside and was replaced by many short stops during the day to draw water from the Lord’s well.

Thirty years later, what was then a desperate plan to stay in touch with God has become a sweet and refreshing method for regaining strength in the middle of a very different kind of exhaustion, cancer fatigue. What I learned then I cherish now: God just loves to provide his Living Water from his inexhaustible source so that I can stay spiritually hydrated. This is what Jesus was talking about, I think, when he said to the Samaritan woman at the well:

“Everyone who drinks of this [well] water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” (John 4:13f)

And so, even while I drink tap water to keep the body in motion, I also drink of the Living Water to keep the soul alive and well. My sips during the day include recalling from memory Scripture verses of encouragement and comfort, reading a psalm or two, quieting my soul for centering prayer, or listening to music “that soothes the savage breast” (William Congreve, 1697). Lately, I have gotten deep drafts of Living Water from friends who come to visit or send cards of encouragement. You have no idea how far these simple gestures go to quench spiritual thirst.

So let’s meet at the well, shall we? Whatever the source of your fatigue, come to the water that gushes up to eternal life! And I daresay, from first-hand experience, the body’s tiredness melts away as the spirit takes wing.


3 Responses to “Come to the Waters”

  1. emd5542 Says:

    Amen, revmary, and thank you. When I recall that eternal life begins when we accept that Jesus Is Lord, we may enter His rest here on this side of eternity while holding out there the assurance of eternal rest. Living water indeed splashes us though and gives us buoyancy.

  2. Jim Skidmore Says:

    Rev. Mary,

    Your blessing in this reading is confirmed to us in Matthew 11:28. Come to me all you who are weary.

    Thank you for pointing out how important friends are in our time of need. It makes me want to sing, What a friend we have in Jesus.

    Thank you Mary for sharing.


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