I do my early morning runs at the Elkin Park. The rock-dust mile oval is convenient, but can get monotonous at times. The park now has opened a new trail that runs along the Elk Creek with a bridge built over the creek and continues on for about a mile on a freshly laid rock-dust path. The new path cut through the woods along the babbling waters of the creek makes for a scenic and relaxing run.
As I was running the other day I noticed along the new path was a picturesque sight I captured with my cell phone. Passing a rock-faced hill I noticed in the middle of the barren, dry and lifeless rocks there was water trickling out and around the water’s outlet was greenery. Even amidst the deadness of the rocks there was life giving waters providing, producing and sustaining life.
I paused to reflect upon what I was seeing. My mind traveled back in time to the plight of the Israelites as they made their way through the dry desert toward the Promise Land (Exodus 17:1-5; Is. 48:21). They grew thirsty on the dusty path they were traveling and cried out to Moses for water. Moses, at the command of the Lord, struck a Rock in the dry and barren desert and water began to gush out to quench the thirst of the people. Paul tells us that the Rock was a picture of what Christ came to do for us (I Cor. 10:4).
As we travel the dusty roads of this life, in the midst of the parched and waterless circumstances that at times visit us all, as we pass the barren and lifeless rocks that sometimes surround us — in the midst of it all there is a ROCK who provides for us life-giving Water. His name is Jesus Christ. He is not only the Rock, He is the Water out of the Rock. His water provides just what we need.
First, His water out of the Rock provides salvation for the weary sinner. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, but in Christ the waters of His grace can wash away our vilest sins. The religions of this world are like barren rocks that have no life in them, but Christ is the water of life that invites us to not embrace religion but to embrace Him in a life giving relationship. Christ is the only eternal water that flows from amidst the waterless man-made religious rocks of the world, and He alone can wash away our sins.
Second, His water out of the Rock satisfies the longings of the weary soul. People, like the Woman at the Well (John 4), are looking for peace, love, relationship, hope, joy, something to put their confidence in, etc. What the soul of man longs for is found in Christ, for He is the water out of the Rock that can quench the thirst of the weary longings of the soul. Jesus invitingly says to the weary soul, “Whosoever drinks 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).
Third, His water out of the Rock is sufficient in weary situations. Situations and circumstances come into all our lives that drain us and leave us feeling parched in spirit. The water of life found in the Rock of Christ is sufficient to sustain us no matter the situation. When our spirits seem to wilt in the heat of life’s situations, Christ is there with the Water of Life to revive us and keep the “greenery” of our spirits vibrant with life – His life.
Fourth, His water out of the Rock is our strength in the weariness of sickness. If we live long enough all of us will face the foe of sickness and disease. It is inevitable. Sooner or later we will sit in the doctor’s office or talk to him on the phone and listen in stunned silence as he delivers bad news to us. I have been there, I know. Where do we turn for strength as we face an uncertain future? The answer is simple, we draw our strength from the Water out of the Rock. He is there to strengthen us with His life healing waters. And thankfully, His water supply never runs dry.
Fifth, His water out of the Rock will eventually be our Stream that carries us away from the weariness of life’s struggles. The Psalmist says that when Moses “smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed” (Ps. 78:20). Will the swelling stream of life eventually carry us away from the struggles of this life? Unless the Lord returns we will all find ourselves sailing upon the stream of life until it merges into eternity. The question is, will we be sucked downward by the undertow of death’s swelling tide or will we find ourselves docking safely upon heaven’s eternal shores where the struggles of life will be ended? The answer to that question depends on whether or not we are drinking from the eternal water that flows from the Rock.
Yes, Christ alone is the life-giving water that flows out of the rocky hillsides of this world. He beckons us to come to Him and drink (John 7:37). As you and I walk the dusty paths of this life, as we are confronted with the rocky barren hillsides that seem to wall us in, just remember that One greater than Moses has provided for us a Rock from which flows an endless supply of heavenly water that is available for us in every situation and circumstance we encounter in life.