In 2005, Troy Driscoll and Josh Long paddled out from the Sullivans Islands in South Carolina for a fun day of fishing. They were looking for a good place to fish when they were caught in a riptide and pulled out to sea. They did what they could to escape but were unsuccessful. Soon, land was out of sight and they spent the night trying to keep warm while battling the waves and remaining wet. The next day was blistering hot, so they jumped in the water to cool off, but this soon attracted sharks. As thirst began to set in, it became almost unbearable to be surrounded by so much water but not be able to drink any of it. Josh spoke about how the water was so clean and clear that it reminded them of blue Gatorade. At one point Troy begged and pleaded for Josh to let him drink some of the water, but Josh simply replied, “If you drink it, you’ll die.” The Coast Guard searched the ocean for days through helicopters, airplanes, and recreational boaters. The boys had drifted 111 miles from where they originally pushed off. After 6 days at sea without supplies, two fishermen finally spotted the boys in the distant water and they were rescued (People Magazine).
How ironic it must have been to be surrounded by water but not be able to drink any of it. Many times people stranded at sea have resulted to drinking seawater and paid the consequences. The negative effects of drinking seawater are well documented. Some of these effects include (1) dehydration and excessive thirst, (2) a spike in blood pressure, (3) physical problems like headaches, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting, (4) brain damage and (5) death. Drinking seawater is never a safe option to quench thirst.
The similarities between our world and the sea are uncanny. Everyone needs both physical and spiritual water to survive. Unfortunately, our culture only offers spiritual salt water. While this water looks clear and clean, the result is spiritual death. It is ironic we live in a time of unparalleled technology, information, and knowledge, and yet the true, fresh, water of life remains elusive to the vast majority. So, how can we receive this water? The Samaritan woman in John 4 asked the same question! Notice Jesus’ response in vs. 13-14, “Everyone who drinks of this water [physical 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.”
When we become a Christian and live a life in service to the Lord, we receive the only water that can quench our spiritual thirst. We live in a salty sea of sin and corruption. Josh’s blunt words, “If you drink it, you’ll die,” apply to our situation as well. Are you thirsty? Come to Jesus for a safe, cool, clear, refreshing glass of spiritual water (John 7:37-38; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38).