Many of us will recall the lines from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner -
Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
- the mariner's curse for having shot the albatross.
Crossing the Burdekin bridge lately, I have been struck by how low the water level is. Sand, sand, everywhere! It looks just about possible to cross from one side to the other.
And yet... the bridge itself is testimony to the truth of the sign that greets all who pass through - that the Burdekin region is "built on liquid gold". When the bridge was being built, they went down over 100 feet and hadn't come to the bottom of the sand. So the shrinking area of water we see from the bridge is evidence that there's a lot more down there!
The water is there, just waiting for spears to be put down so that it can be pumped up to irrigate the cane.
The first Psalm says of the person who delights in and thinks deeply on the law of the Lord, "He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers" (Ps. 1.3).
Jeremiah says that the person who trusts in the Lord "will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit" (Jer. 17.7-8).
To the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus promised "living water". He said, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life" (Jn 4.13-14).
Too often in our society we "run dry". There is enough happening to discourage and disappoint us. Others and "the system" let us down - and the awareness that so often we let ourselves down! Sand, sand, everywhere!
Yet God's living water is freely available to us. We have the treasure of his Word written - the Bible. But above all, we have his living Word - Jesus Christ.
Put down your spear! Trust in the God who made you and cares for you! Receive Jesus Christ, the Son of God who came for you! Drink deeply of the water of life and be refreshed and renewed!

© Peter J. Blackburn, Burdekin Link, October 2000