I recently got to go down to the beach during low tide, and snapped a few pictures of the seaweed hanging onto the rocks, exposed to the morning air. This is definitely not the preferred situation for seaweed to find itself in! Otherwise it wouldn’t be called seaweed. It’s not built for life on land. The seaweed uses holdfasts instead of roots to anchor itself to something, and this type (spiralled wrack) has floats (or pneumatocysts) to help it get as close to the sunlight as possible when it’s underwater. Those floats aren’t filled with helium, and they do no good out in the air! So what’s a seaweed to do at low tide? Here’s another picture of a nearby lucky patch.
Just floating around, doing what seaweed was created to do…using sunlight to make food. Of course the seaweed can’t soak up water through roots that it doesn’t have, it has to soak up water and nutrients from the water that surrounds it. Back to our poor wrack above…sure, there’s sunshine, but no water! Poor thing must be parched. Thankfully, low tide is not eternal, and the seaweed will once again be in the environment it was created for.
As human beings, we need water to survive. As spiritual beings, living water is a necessity! Twice in the book of Jeremiah, God is called “The fountain of living water” (2:13 and 17:13). In John 4, Jesus tells the Samaritan woman,
If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water…those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life (John 4:10, 14).
We need to drink deeply, intentionally, and consistently from the spring of living water. We were created to be immersed in it, living fully in relationship with our Creator. When we don’t take time or effort to pursue our relationship with God, we can become thirsty. Back in Jeremiah 2:13, God says, “For my people have down two evil things: They have abandoned me–the fountain of living water, And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!” If you have a fountain, there is no need to dig a cistern to hold water you’ve collected. It’s always springing up, full of refreshing!
Then Jeremiah 17:13 states, “O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who turn away from you will be disgraced. They will be buried in the dust of the earth, for they have abandoned the Lord, the fountain of living water.” When I think of the dust of the earth, I think of dry deserts or dried up river beds. There’s no moisture at all. Why leave an eternally flowing fountain for dry, dusty ground? Here are a few pictures of seaweed that got carried up into the dusty sand, and dried up for lack of water.
Pretty, maybe, but drying and dying. Don’t let that be you! Stay near the fountain of living water–God Almighty, your Provider, Sustainer, and Deliverer. Any other refreshment we seek will leave us thirsting again, but this living water leads to life eternal.