We have rather smart cows (for cows, that is). They know what is good, what is safe and when to seek shelter. They also know to trust us to take care of them.
We have a few sources of water during the year. In summer it is the usual automatic waterer, the swimming hole and the seep water which comes up from the ground near the house.
In winter the automatic waterer is the only game in town. It stays fresh because they use it every day and sometimes many times during the day. In summer it is used less and it gets algae and it isn't very fresh after a day in the sun.
The swimming hole in dry years like this one, is sandy, warm and full of frogs, dragonflies and although it is fed by a deep spring the water there is hard to reach. You have to go further out to get the fresh water and most cows won't do that.
The seep water, which may seem nasty to us, is filtered though sand and peat so it is fresh and clean, it never gets stagnant and it is easy to access. They drink there most often. They know where to get the best water to sustain them.
It got me thinking about the water Jesus promised at the well in John 4. The woman couldn't reach the good, life and soul saving water until Jesus showed her!
She has choices of water from the well of society which was stagnant, confined and easily polluted. She was married and in relationships. She was offered easy, but not clean water in life.
A Samaritan woman she could not access the holy water of Jerusalem. Being a woman and of a despised group kept her from the fresher water that was hard to get at.
She came to the well, knowing only a bucket could reach deep enough, and wondered at the man who waited there. (You and I both know Jesus was waiting for her and had been all her life!) His questions, her answers, His water, her thirst.
Her question - how do we reach this water? And His assurances that the way was right in front of her made an eternal difference in her life. An eternal difference in the lives of many women since!
Jesus told her, this woman who any sane Jew would reject if not stone, that it was for her that He would bring the living waters!
" 21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
What a promise! At the well, in the town where everyone not only knew her name but what she was, she was able to bring back to her people the message of living waters, of eternal life. Of waters within reach. Waters for the soul. Waters to quench hell's fires. Waters to wash anyone clean, even her!
Are you standing at stagnant waters? Pushing aside algae to drink it stale and warm?
Are you wading in way too deep into waters that are so hard to reach? Are you losing your footing and falling?
Are you willing to seek the Living Waters? Easy to find, clean and soul quenching! Are you willing to give up your present self to become what He knows you are in Him?
Surely if some shaggy cows created by His holy Hand can figure out what is the best water, we His children should be able to find it...the Way is written down for us to follow! There is no deep well, no buckets or ropes. No one counting our sips or gulps. No one measuring our consumption of grace.
Praying that we, you and me, because we all lose our way sometimes, can find our way to the clean, clear waters that wait for us in Jesus!