Moment with the father

The Gift of Life-giving Water

Submitted by Paula Horst, One Step Ministries


It was already dark as we arrived at the cabin on Friday night. My friend and ministry partner Marti and I had set aside this weekend as a personal retreat. Despite a bleak forecast, we decided to keep the plan and go anyway. As we stepped out of the car in the rain, we could hear the rushing roar of Pine
Creek coming from behind the cabin. This area had just gotten 5 inches of rain the day before. It sounded menacing, but we could see nothing as we stood on the deck listening to the deafening noise.

The next morning, just as light started to turn night into day, I emerged from my room and stood gaping on the second floor loft as I gazed through the large two story windows facing Pine Creek. What I saw stopped me in my tracks and fear gripped my insides. What is normally a lazy, soothing and inviting body of water had turned into a raging, murky and dangerous foe. It looked like dark chocolate milk and large pieces of limbs from trees were churning and rolling through the whitecaps created by this powerful force. I knew without a doubt that this water people regularly enjoy, spending hours kayaking and floating in tubes on summer days, would kill me if I attempted to walk through it.

As a visual processor, what I felt in that moment was a choking terror. I could barely breathe. I felt like I was dying. Like these raging waters were overcoming me. Because that is exactly what was happening in my life. I was walking through the darkest season I have experienced to that point. All I could see was a raging enemy stealing my life, my joy and my hope. I couldn’t see a way out or through the menacing waters of my circumstances.

I descended the stairs, made a cup of coffee and sat staring at this flooded devil, darkness washing through my being, matching the heavy gloom of the sky. My soul was downcast and tears came freely, trickling down both cheeks. Marti soon joined me in the living room and I expressed to her exactly what I was feeling. She prayed for me and we talked as the day woke up. A little while later, still sitting in the same spot looking out the large windows, something caught my eye. Across the creek, about 80 feet up the steep mountain side, I could see a steady movement through the leaves of the trees. I could not determine what it was, so I reached for the binoculars on the windowsill and focused in on the spot. What I saw flooded my soul with life and hope. A stream of pure, clear water cascading down off a cliff from where it flowed out of the earth. A stark contrast to
the raging, murky waters below.

Steady. Pure. Life giving.

My Father’s love. My Father’s life. My Father’s Spirit. Washing over me and through me. What He said to me was, “Look up. Keep your eyes on Me. I will be with you and you will be okay. You will not be overcome. Though the battle is hard and you cannot see victory as an end, I am here.” I could breathe again.

A gift from my Heavenly Father.

But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.
John 4:14