Half of Britain is now in drought as we face the most severe water shortage since 1976. More than 35 million people are now living in drought-affected areas. Parts of the country are already drier than they were in the summer of 1976, when Britain experienced its worst drought for more than 100 years. Restrictions on the use of water have been imposed in many areas.
The water shortage presents us with a big challenge. Water is essential for life. We need it and so do our animals and crops. One of the reasons our earth abounds with life is because of the abundance of water. In the past we may have taken for granted the fact that we had a reliable supply of fresh drinking water, but now we have become aware how precious water is.
Jesus once met a woman at a well. She had come in the middle of the day with her water jar to draw water for her and her family and to carry it home. Many people in the world today still have to carry water to their homes. It is a tiring job which has to be done every day in order to sustain life. This woman spent most of the day doing the things necessary for her and her family to survive. Many times as she walked to and from the well she must have wondered what life was all about? How could she find meaning in her life amidst the drudgery of her everyday routine.
Many people today ask the same questions. Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? Our secular society tells us there is no ultimate meaning to life. We just have to make the best of it. I’m so glad that isn’t true. Jesus knew the woman’s life was hard and that she didn’t know deep inner fulfilment. He said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Taking up this theme, Horatius Bonar wrote, “I heard the voice of Jesus say, Behold I freely give the living water – thirsty one, stoop down and drink and live! I came to Jesus, and I drank of that live-giving stream; my thirst was quenched, my soul revived, and now I live in him.”