I recently had the honor of dipping my toes into and scrubbing my arms with the salts along the shores of the Dead Sea—the lowest point on Earth, nestled between Israel and Jordan. It’s a phenomenon of many sorts, but mainly because it has no fish, no algae, no growing things living inside of it. Nothing can survive in this water because it provides no nutrients for life. While you can float in it making no effort at all, that’s about all this gorgeous, salty body of water can provide.
Pretty on the outside, dead on the inside—the Dead Sea is expected to shrivel up to nothing by about 2050.
Now take a leap with me from the shores of the Dead Sea to the shores of Pensacola Beach, Florida. My hometown boasts equally gorgeous turquoise water. Its white, sandy beaches remind me of the salts of the Dead Sea, but there is one major difference here. When you dip your toes into the edge of the water, you may feel little nibbles of pinfish swimming by. If you look out along the horizon, you’re likely to see the backs of dolphins riding along the ocean’s edge. People dive into the water headfirst and float on rafts all while the waves crash down beside them.
Pretty on the outside, alive on the inside—Pensacola’s Beach’s tide flows in and out every day as a sign of life that is dependent on the sun.
Which body of water best describes you?
God gave every one of us bodies, minds, and hearts designed with a purpose. Understanding God’s Word better, His plan not just for us as individuals but for His creation as a whole, should bring about signs of life and living water running through us. Despite what we present on the outside, the goodness of God and His design for each of us should be running throughout our innermost being.
Understanding God’s Word better, His plan not just for us as individuals but for His creation as a whole, should bring about signs of life and living water running through us.
While I mean no disrespect to my new favorite place on Earth, I’d best describe a “Dead Sea” person as this: something like an ungrateful curmudgeon who feels like a victim to his or her times—salty, producing no fruit, and anything that goes near it won’t be able to thrive (or even survive).
I’d best describe a “Pensacola Beach” person as this: a grateful, plentiful, warm body who welcomes others to come live their best lives near him or her so that they can not only thrive, but know the One who provides the living water.
How would the people in your life best describe you?
It’s predicted the Dead Sea will dry up in the next 20 to 30 years due to the water level falling below the salt layer, leaving only a salty core.
Where will you be in 20 to 30 years from now?
The Living Water
Fortunately, Jesus is able to revive our salty hearts! In fact, He taught a truth that should bring tremendous comfort to those who feel they’re shriveling up and not thriving: God is the provider of living water.
God is the provider of living water.
You may recall the story of the woman at the well. She stood before Jesus, filled with a salty heart, seeking lifeless water when the giver of streams of living water stood before her.
Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”
Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:10–14).
A Spirit of Gratitude
One of the most beautiful truths about Jesus is that today, so long as you open your eyes and take in a deep breath, you can ask to be filled with streams of living water. No longer do you have to pull from a salty well that doesn’t satisfy, but you can start life anew. Even if you’ve fallen away from God’s Word, His life-giving Scripture can ignite your heart.
No matter where you are today, be encouraged. Scripture assures us that even the Dead Sea will thrive again.
Then he said to me, “These waters go out toward the eastern region and go down into the Arabah; then they go toward the sea, being made to flow into the sea, and the waters of the sea become fresh. And it will come about that every living creature which swarms in every place where the river goes, will live. And there will be very many fish, for these waters go there and the others become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes” (Ezekiel 47:8–9, NASB).
I’m confident that the difference between a salty life and a thriving one is a spirit of gratitude for all that the Lord has given us. Take a look around today, especially in this Thanksgiving season, and realize that there is nothing there by chance. Your life has a God-given purpose!
We have been to the dead Sea and the conditions there are just as you describe them. Very insightful, well said and bringing out some needed points for today.