A RIVER OF LIFE
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:37-39
When a disciple believes in Jesus a river of life begins to flow from that believer’s inner life. Though the disciple enjoys and lives from this inner fountain of life, this living water is not only for the disciple. The river’s life is meant for others Jesus moves us toward in the world.
Observe the life and behavior of a river. As soon as it is born from its original source it begins its movement through whatever terrain awaits it. It’s only choice is to move no matter what awaits it or how it is treated along the way.
The river moves because its source moves. The river of life exists to expand and make known the influence of its source. As long as its source moves, so must the river move.
Several rivers cut across the Metropolis called São Paulo (St. Paul) near where we live. Over 18 million people call the metropolitan area of São Paulo home. All the rivers that are forced by their sources into the city of São Paulo pay a heavy price. One of those rivers, the Tietê river, suffers the most.
For the most part this river that comes from pure mountain springs has a near death experience as it gives its living waters away freely to those who pollute it and mistreat it as it simply tries to move from its source.
When one sees the Tietê or smells it for that matter, it is a mistake to think the river Tietê is dead. As long as it is still moved by its source, it is alive.
The proof of this permanent life is seen 60 miles beyond the Metropolis of São Paulo when one visits the banks of the Tietê. Once it has left its pollution and pain of São Paulo behind, its sparkling life reappears.
The once filthy river is clean again and freely delivers its life giving waters again. It moves on as if it has lost nothing by giving so much.
So it is with a disciple in whom the fountain of Jesus’ life emerges as the disciple believes. Jesus, the fountain of life, will send us out into the world to give our life away and He tells us we will survive whatever is thrown at us in the process.
As we flow we give away freely what He has given us. We know that how we are treated here is not the end of the story. What moved us in the beginning will take us all the way home to the purity of the Father again.
As disciples we should see ourselves as a river of life which is birthed in us by true faith in Jesus. We never stop to fight for our own rights as we flow. We flow from Jesus’ love to move forward and give life away as it is given to us in Jesus.