The tiger was thirsty. There was no doubt of that. Bas, our wildlife artist, had captured this magnificent creature, his tongue stretched out, about to slake his thirst.
As I was looking for a suitable card to send to friends, dealing with a long spell of ill health, where it seems the doctors can find no solution, I felt maybe this copy of a wonderful painting, might meet a need.
The Apostle John prayed for his friends, that they might ‘prosper and be in health,’ as their souls prospered.
Somehow thirst and health go together. While my husband and I waited expectantly for him to recover from the viral infection that had laid us both low, I could not get him to drink. Looking back, it seems as if his body knew that his time here on earth was drawing to a close, so it refused the life giving sustenance.
I had to go to Africa to learn to enjoy water; yes, life giving, unadulterated water. I was not interested in tea, iced or not, or pop. If I was thirsty, I wanted water, and I still prefer cold water to drink.
While climbing a mountain in Papua New Guinea, my guide pointed out some green leaves that indicated a source of good drinking water pouring into the river. And sometimes, spiritually, we need to be directed to where we will find water. We also need to be planted beside God’s rivers so that our roots are actually in the river. Then we will never be affected by times of drought. Best of all, we can drink of that living water that springs up in the inner beings of those who believe in Jesus, so that we will never, ever thirst again.
Was it a sleepless night, or was it the Holy Spirit who prompted me to switch on the radio in the small hours of the morning? I was horrified to hear of the drought in Cape Town; of how, after five years without rain, and many warnings and pleas for economy, the water supply has had to be switched off and the residents are having to queue at the stand pipes with their buckets and bottles.
I recalled the misery of having our supply cut off, though I don’t think it was caused by drought but because they had run out of chemicals to ensure the safety of the town supply. On rare occasions of need in New Guinea we could resort to the river, but here in Ghana I was warned I must on no account use river water, even for washing clothes, as it might cause river blindness.
My heart goes out to the people of South Africa, but recently I heard Angus Buchan, the South African farmer, but also Evangelist. He believes this is all in the purposes of God, for he had already booked an area, the size of several football fields, to hold a rally calling the people back to God.
When he heard the supplies had been switched off, he said something to the effect that when they want the cattle to gather together, they cut off their water supplies. Surely God is now calling his people to turn to him in repentance.
Yes, we need to pray for the suffering people on the African continent.
And what is it going to take to turn us as a nation back to God? But meanwhile, may we learn to drink deeply of the water that Jesus came to bring us, to make sure that we are planted by the river of God; and that there is no hindrance in our own lives but that always that well of living water will be springing up in us.
‘Drink deeply of the fountain of salvation.’