My heart always manages to stumble into the desert despite my best efforts. God woke me this morning with the image of water flowing in the desert because He knew my heart was thirsty and needed filling. I try to quench my heart’s thirst, but my efforts are like chasing mirages.
A mirage promises satisfaction, then quickly disappears when I get close. Mirages sidetrack my heart and keep it from the path God has in mind. Oxford defines a mirage as “something that appears real or possible but is not in fact so.” Even seasoned bedouins fall prey to the illusion of water created by heat in the desert. Heat turns a reflection into an enticing pool that gives false hope to a thirsty heart. Lust, like a mirage in the desert, promises satisfaction even when the facts say otherwise. Mirages give false hope, leaving me thirsty and feeling foolish.
An oasis is real and offers life-giving water to desert travelers. I thank God for the oases He has placed in my path; without them, my heart would never have survived its journey. It’s tempting to cling to an oasis, but I know I can’t. An oasis revives travelers in the desert, but it is not the destination. God knows leaving an oasis is painful and frightening, but He also knows I must move on if I am to get where He wants me to be.
I’ve been fooled by mirages and tempted by oases, but I am learning to have faith and rely upon the living water Christ offered the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:13-14 ”
“Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (NASB)
Mirages don’t exist, and oases are only temporary. The best wells and springs in the world will eventually run dry, but the living water Christ offers will become in me a well of water springing up to eternal life if I with trust God with my heart. It’s hard to imagine my heart never being thirsty again, but that is exactly what Christ promises. I simply have to believe Him.
Christ’s love is not an illusion or a temporary fix, but I fear I have seen it as both. The image of an ever-flowing fountain of sweet spring water in the desert is a powerful one. Knowing Christ’s precious love can be forever flowing from a fountain in my own heart is more than I can imagine on my own. God will always let me chose where my heart will drink, but His Holy Spirit will hold my heart and help me drink deeply when I am ready to leave the mirages and oases and let His fountain run freely through my heart.