Jan and I spent a week in the Los Angeles area, visiting our daughter Jennie. One day, we went hiking in Eaton Canyon, just outside Pasadena. We hiked on a trail that ran for a mile and a half to some falls at one end of the canyon. It was our first time in one of the many canyons that dot the Los Angeles area. We were struck by the stark beauty of the canyon.
Another thing I noticed was the creek that ran through the bottom of the canyon near the beginning of the hike. The creek started at the falls and was a decent size. By the time it reached the bottom of the canyon it was not much more than a trickle. When I first saw it I thought of the verse in Isaiah 35 where the prophet speaks of streams in the desert.
As we went along the trail I noticed that there were green trees growing along the creek bed. These trees were a far cry from the dry vegetation in the rest of the canyon.
As I looked at the trees and noticed that the green continued only for about 40 feet or so on either side of the creek, I thought of the description of Jesus as the Water of Life. As the trees were green and thriving along the banks of the creek, so we thrive by staying in close contact with Jesus. If we let ourselves get caught up in all the stuff of our lives and let that close relationship fade, we tend to dry out and wither, just as the plants further from the creek dried out.
There may be times when it seems as if we are dry, and there is no Water to quench our thirst. Just as in the dry canyon bottom, there is water. The Source of our life is there. We may need a period where we must sink our roots deeper, or we may need to adapt and live with what seems like a small amount of water for a while. Regardless, the only way we can be satisfied and have the living water flowing out of us is by staying as close to the Source as we can.