Living Water

For 6 years I lived in a house where water ran in short supply. Some days a single flush of the toilet would drain the well dry. Circumstances like that tend to create a hyper-sensitivity to water’s source, supply, and squandering.

When I arrived in Jordan last month, I watched the vegetation grow scarce as I ascended up out of the Jordan River valley. I saw virtually no signs of water during the hours I journeyed south to the town of Petra. By the time I arrived, it was impossible for me to flush the toilet without wondering where the water would come from to refill the tank. I welcomed a shower, but reverted to my old water-saving habits. I wanted to know where the water came from in a place that averages 4-6 inches of rainfall per year.


Then I stood on top of Mount Nebo, opposite Jericho, where the Lord showed Moses all the promised land before Moses died. Overcast skies prevented me from seeing all that Moses saw, but my limited view showed me inhospitable desert land. My thoughts went straight to water. The people of Israel wandered in that wilderness. The people complained because there was no water.

“The people grumbled at Moses, saying ‘What shall we drink?'” (Exodus 15:24). “But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moses” (Exodus 17:3a).

Looking toward Jericho from Mt. Nebo
Looking toward Jericho from Mt. Nebo

On it went as they wandered. I looked, and I related. I do not know that I would have done better than they. They who tasted God’s provision day after day. They who saw His power in so many miraculous signs, the power of a God who patiently waited for them to trust Him to meet each need. Every day he gave them food. Every time they thirsted, He provided them water to drink.

Then I think about Jesus telling a Samaritan woman at a well, where she had come to draw water, that “whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14). She immediately wanted the water He offered. And when she ran to tell others about the one she’d met and what he’d said she left her jar of water sitting by the well, never giving it a thought. Can you imagine a promise like that to people living in a thirsty land? To never thirst again? Unthinkable. And so desirable.


God’s people spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness, learning to desire One greater than a drink of water and trust Him fully. God wanted the people to see that He, Himself, was the stream of living water, quenching all their thirst, meeting all their needs. I have lived where there is no water, and have learned that there is One more desirable.  One who meets my every true need, the very needs of my soul. I have drunk the living water and have found His promise true. May I never thirst again for water that doesn’t satisfy. 


© Erika Rice 2014

A Fickle Lady

Spring is a fickle lady, one moment warm and inviting,

one moment wounding  us with her icy stare.

So we embrace her robustly when she allows,


and cling to her when she gives us the cold shoulder, pleading with her to come back.

Whatever her mood, even when she’s most unsure of herself,


we make the best of her presence,

letting her know that we won’t give up on loving her that easily.




With Summer giving chase, it won’t be long till Spring is compelled to stay.




©Erika Rice 2014


Good-bye, Winter!

Today was all about kissing Winter good-bye. We did not shed any tears over his passing.

We tramped joyfully up and down, snow overflowing our boot rims, feet wet with Winter’s remains, socks lost in boot toes, and pant cuffs soaked through. The woods stood drenched in sunlight under a brilliant blue sky, and we reveled in the promise of Spring. We envisioned the leafy canopy we know will come soon enough. There may be more snow in our future before those leaves umbrella our path, but we know Spring is rounding the bend, Summer close on her heels.

We stood on the high rocks and watched the slow progress of a very large ice slab, making its way down river. We were rooted. An island stood in the ice slab’s path. Would the ice be halted? Perhaps it wouldn’t survive a collision. We had to know.

Barely, imperceptibly, the slab changed course and escaped collision, skirting the island ever so slightly. Suddenly, it seemed to be speeding past, and we were off — running along the cliffs, chasing this hand of Winter being forced to release his hold on us. We had to know if he would slap the cliff in retaliation on his way past or go quietly. We clambered up the rocks, and I slid to the edge just in time to hear the gentle shushhhh of the hand brushing the cliff face in blessing as it hurried past.

We did not, however, let him off so easily. He has been hard on us these many months. Snowballs hurtled from our hands to sting him as he went. If he had not been so large and powerful, we might not have found such pleasure in it. Smack after smack. Chunk after chunk reverberated its pleasing spank of his icy skin until he couldn’t be reached any longer.

We watched winter float away as we celebrated his departure. The river cried tears of joy; and we blew our final kisses on the smoke of a maple sap fire, boiling its springtime sweetness as a yearlong reminder that even Winter is powerless to stop his passing.

Good-bye, Winter.


©Erika Rice