Good morning from Managua, Nicaragua!
Living in Nicaragua has made me keenly aware of something I often take for granted – I need water to live. Growing up in Maryland I knew this was true, but other than a few really hot days in the summer, it rarely entered my mind. Living in Nicaragua is another story. With temperature exceeding ninety degree Fahrenheit on a daily basis, high humidity, and little to no A/C, I feel an almost constant thirst for water. In fact, I am now very intentional about drinking three liters of water a day to ensure that I am replacing the liquids I am losing even as I sit at my kitchen table and type this post. When I do not drink enough water, I can definitely tell.
This reality reminded me of another truth that is becoming clearer to me every day. In John’s recording of Jesus’ ministry he recounts a story of Jesus’ interaction with a Samaritan woman at a well. Not surprisingly given they were at a well, their conversation centered on water. In talking about physical water, Jesus changes it up and begins to talk about a different kind of water. “Jesus answered, ‘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.'” (John 4:13-14, NIV 1984) Jesus says there is a kind of water that produces a different kind of life and it is found by being a relationship with him.
As I have walked through this life and especially over my time in Nicaragua, I have found that it is incredibly important for me to stay connected to Jesus. Yes, I have a relationship with him and that will never change, but I do have a tendency to drift away from him at times. When this happens, I typically begin to feel a thirst for something more. Much like physical water, I become aware that I need the life producing “water” that being in constant connection with Jesus provides. By going back to the source, Jesus, I feel replenished. This has been extremely important as I have gone through this journey in Nicaragua. More than any other time in my life, I am aware that I need Jesus in order to truly live and to be the person that God created me to be.
As I often say, my hope is live into this truth more and more every day. Instead of waiting to get spiritually thirsty, I desire to stay more constantly connected to the source of living water. How different would my life look if I did? How different would yours look if you did the same?
– James Belt