I am currently in Israel. Whoop whoop!!!
I promised to write about my last adventure here, but you’ll just have to settle for a post about my current trip straight from the Holy Land!
As I sat in the modern day city of Tiberius this evening, I went back through my gallery of pictures that highlight my recent adventures here in this beautiful land. One picture stood out to me and I’m not sure why. As I stared at the beauty of nature within it, and the sunlight that reflected off of the trickling water bouncing off smooth stones and back into a perfect little stream, something magnificent yet somewhat sad came to my mind. Has my patience equaled my effort?
The picture you see on the cover of this post is from Ein Gedi. Just a few miles in front of this fresh spring of living water rests the Dead Sea. For someone looking for water to drink, the Dead Sea would kill them, yet it takes up a massive amount of space. It is easily accessible and looks somewhat fresh, but all it offers is a cool place to take a dip and maybe exfoliation of the skin if you rub enough mud on you.
Although it looks pretty, it is deadly, and nothing survives in its waters. The Ein Gedi springs are small, and hidden to the naked eye. They have no Sea to claim, or Lake to bear their name, yet they are clean, and fresh.
Life is abundant there. It made me wonder… how many times have I ran to something dead just to take a cool dip, even though it couldn’t quench my life’s thirst? I don’t want to temporarily forget my thirst for the coolness of the water I sit in. I don’t want to simply swim in the water, I want to drink it. I want to consume of that water and take it in so that it refreshes me from the inside out.
You see, when you’re thirsty and you decide to swim, you don’t quench your thirst, you just temporarily forget about it. Eventually that thirst will rise above the coolness of the water you sit in, and no longer can the feeling of the water be your salvation… You need to quench your thirst.
You need the actual result of hydration, not just a cool place to cool off in order to continue on with living. The Dead Sea has nothing to offer. The point remains the same.
In order to quench our thirst we have to drink of the fresh living water that flows from places that may be hard to find.
Ein Gedi isn’t easily found for someone who isn’t a local or a tourist specifically trying to find it. For someone with no knowledge of its whereabouts, it’s secluded!
There is hiking and climbing required before ever reaching the top. The effort of crossing a desert, passing up the temptations of the Dead Sea, and continuing on only to have to hike and climb is tremendous. But… The reward is the quenching of thirst, and the journey is always the best teacher. Who learns without trial? Who learns without first not knowing? We all have to go through deserts, and we all have temptations, but how do we react to them?
That’s where I bring my main point to the forefront. Maybe my effort is truly outstanding, but effort without patience is reliance on sight and not faith. Effort may lead you to something that looks good, but patience makes you stop and assess whether it truly is or isn’t. God provides the wisdom and the discernment in those times of wondering as long as we give Him the chance to speak. Being patient provides quiet, which leads to the voice of God speaking in a soft informative way.
The moral is to wait, be patient, and keep seeking. Springs of living water are rarely large and easily accessible, and the journey creates the purpose. Fresh springs are secluded and small, but they are full of life.
So… Are you settling for a Dead Sea? Or seeking an oasis like Ein Gedi?
When you’re patient, and you put in what is needed, then something beautiful happens. You become a flowing point for those around you who are looking for their Ein Gedi.
“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
Don’t give up on finding the spring you desire. Don’t think that this hard journey is doing nothing for you. The Israelites went through the Desert. So did David, Moses, and many more great men of the Bible. Keep seeking, and keep moving forward.
Your Ein Gedi is there, just keep searching and be patient.
“but 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