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Nor Any Drop to Drink

Monday, May 3, 2021

Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. John 4:13, 14, NIV.

Hiking the trail along the Na Pali Coast on the island of Kauai is a rare and breathtaking experience. The narrow ribbon of dirt hugs sheer cliffs that drop hundreds of feet to the Pacific Ocean below, and the lush tropical vegetation adds to the visual delight. Many streams flow along the 11-mile trail.

On a trip to Hawaii several years ago my wife and I set out to hike the Na Pali Coast, a 22-mile round-trip, all in one day. Since the trail guide promised lots of water along the way, we left our canteens behind to lighten the load. However, once into the hike we learned the truth. Bold signs posted beside every stream warned us: “BOIL WATER BEFORE DRINKING.”

Since we hadn’t brought any cooking equipment or matches, we were out of luck. Stream after stream presented the same dreadful warning, and soon our scenic day hike turned quite desperate. The intense heat and humidity made the trail a virtual sauna, and our water loss from sweat was rapid.

At one point the trail turned inland, where a vigorous roaring stream rushed along, with the same warning sign. We decided that if we couldn’t drink the water, at least we could cool off in it. So very carefully we submerged ourselves in the stream up to our necks. It was wonderful relief from the heat of the day, but remembering “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” we mused, “water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”

Like my parched throat on the Na Pali Coast, my parched soul longs to be filled. Water has an amazing rejuvenating effect. When we finally found drinking water at the end of the 11-mile trail, my headache departed, my arms and legs felt invigorated, my whole body felt new again. So when I read that Christ promises everlasting water for the spirit and soul, I imagine its restorative properties. Like the Samaritan woman at the well, I too pray, “Sir, give me this water” (John 14:15, NIV).

Fill my cup, Lord, with Your pure water of life. Fill me to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit.

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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