I watched a news report a few days ago about a company that harvests iceberg pieces to melt into bottled water, which is sold at a premium as a specialty product, and dubbed as the purest water on earth. I was reminded of the many times as a boy that I saw icebergs while growing up in Newfoundland. It was an incredible sight that I took for granted but that I now realize was, and is amazing. We have a picture somewhere in our family collection of my Dad leaning out from the bow of a boat with a plastic pitcher getting the water that’s streaming from a large berg that was melting in the sun. Below are a couple of pictures of Ethan and me in my cousin’s boat a couple of years ago getting up close with a small iceberg in Newfoundland.
Icebergs are said to be thousands of years old, broken off from glaciers and ice shelves, with the average weight once they reach Newfoundland being 100,000 to 200,000 tons, and they are about the size of a cubic 15 story building. They can last about 2 to 3 years, drifting from Greenland to the Grand Banks of NL. The farthest south an iceberg has ever been seen is 150 miles northeast of Bermuda, and the largest iceberg was estimated to be 4-5 times the size of Manhatten!
In spite of the fact that they float and drift for months and years in saltwater, the ice from an iceberg is almost always fresh, clear, and produces pure water. That fact always struck me as odd. How could something that was surrounded by saltwater, immersed in it, floating in it, still remain fresh and pure and clean? We know that the reason is that ice is resistant to saltwater, and while it does melt, it will not absorb the salty water it is immersed in, so any ice or water from an iceberg is fresh and clean.
The Bible records in John 7, on the last day of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”
Like with the woman at the well to whom He also offered living water, this water was representative of the Holy Spirit from whom we would receive life, abundant and full, life that would satisfy, fulfill and quench our thirsting. While being immersed in the world, we would not be of it. We would become reservoirs of this living water, of the Spirit of God, who would flow out of our lives to those around us, bringing salvation, restoration, growth, renewal, and healing. Ezekiel gives a prophetic glimpse of this in chapter 36, saying to Israel: Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean…. The fields that used to lie empty and desolate in plain view of everyone will again be farmed. And when I bring you back, people will say, ‘This former wasteland is now like the Garden of Eden!
The image of emptiness and desolation is stark and disheartening, but in contrast, the image of something that was dry, arid, and a wasteland, a desert, where nothing grew and everything was dead, now teaming with life, growth, and beauty, is one that is full and overflowing! In the song “Jesus We Love You” we hear the same theme, that God is a restoring, reviving, renewing, life-giving God. Part of the lyrics say, “Things that we thought were dead are breathing in life again, You cause your Son to shine on darkest nights”.
What are the wastelands around you? We know our country and nation are dead spiritually and in need of revival and renewal. Our province, our town, and communities, our neighborhoods, are also empty and dead spiritually and need to be awakened. Then there’s our own back yards, our family and friends. How many of us see family members and friends that are living in a spiritual desert, rejecting or ignoring God, adrift and lost, needing, but not seeing the need, of the living water that brings new life.
We have a wonderful opportunity to be the means by which the living water of the Holy Spirit is poured out around us in our families, friends, and community! But to be able to pour out, we must be filled up!
This is a time to pray, to seek God for the fullness of His Spirit to be poured into and out through our lives. In Acts 4, right after being released from jail and being threatened and ordered to stop talking and preaching about Jesus, Peter and John go meet with the other believers. After telling what had happened, they pray, and this is the result: “After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.”
Let the Holy Spirit pour out of us. Let Him fill us with boldness. The Holy Spirit has been given to believers to guide us, direct us, refresh us, remind us. But He has also been given to pour out of us and be visible for all to see, to bring water in the desert, to turn wastelands into places teeming with life!
In the center of culture and society that is moving farther and farther from God, that is increasingly secular, or at best, agnostic, we need to be conduits of the pure living water of God, in this world but not of it, filled up and being poured out.
As we continue under COVID 19 restrictions, please consider taking Thursdays as a day to focus on prayer and fasting along with many other Nova Scotia churches and believers. The attachment below gives the information and invitation from Pray Nova Scotia, as well as the link for the Zoom prayer meeting which takes place at 12 pm.
Please check our website or Facebook page on Sunday, April 19th at 10 am for our Kids Connection video, and then our Kingsway service at 10:30 am, where Pastor Allen will share some thoughts from the Word, with special music, and a brief message from one of our families.