EARTH: Water In The Desert by Francine Rivers

Reflections on How God Speaks Through Nature

Water In The Desert by Francine Rivers

From: Earth Psalms

Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”  By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. (John 7:37-39)

One creature of southwestern Africa is the Stenocara beetle – a little black bug with a grooved, bumpy back. It lives in the Manib Desert, one of the hottest places on Earth, where sand temperatures can reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Each day, this small creature climbs a sand dune before dawn and waits for the fog to announce the approaching sunrise. As it waits, tiny droplets of water form on its water-repellent casing. Once the day begins, the beetle bows its head to the ground so that the water can trickle down the waxy grooves of its back and into its mouth. And thus, even in the midst of the inhospitable desert, it receives enough water to sustain it through the day.

Our lives in this world can seem as barren as the hot desert of Namibia, but God continues to sustain us through the living water of his presence.  In John 7, Jesus himself promised that whoever was thirsty could come to him and drink – and would find living water that would never run dry.

Jesus invites us to come to him and be refreshed.  But all too often we don’t recognize our thirst for what it is.  We try to fix our dissatisfaction with busyness, or material things, or friendships, or status – and we remain dissatisfied.  That’s as pointless as a Stenocara beetle who tips its head backward and lets the water droplets trickle down its back into the sand.  Let’s not waste the precious gift of himself God gives us.

May we recognize our thirst for God and quench it with him, never trying to satisfy ourselves with lesser things.  May we bow in reverence to him and receive the living water he gives us, drinking deeply and being replenished and refreshed by his promises.  When life becomes dry and barren, spend time with the Lord, who loves you and will quench your thirst.

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 life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in him.
(“I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say”)


When do you feel most thirsty for God?  In what ways do you try to satisfy that thirst?


Come up with a reminder – whether it’s a physical note or an alarm on your computer or phone – to turn to God when you sense the dissatisfaction that is really thirst for him.


Lord Jesus, you have offered your very self to us, and you promise that those who are thirsty may come to you and be satisfied.  Forgive me for the times when I have turned to something else – something less – in a vain attempt to make myself feel better.  Teach me to turn to you and be refreshed by you, the Living Water.

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
(Psalm 42:1)

2 Comments on EARTH: Water In The Desert by Francine Rivers

  1. I love the hymn. The choir sings it beautifully.


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