"No human creature even entered a desert oasis without joy, nor left it without regret."
--Zane Grey (Wanderer of the Wasteland)
"Jesus answered and said to her, 'Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again. But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.'"
--John 4:13-14 (NKJV)
How many bones lie just a hillside away from the oasis, the spring of life? How many, with just a little more effort, would have made it over the rise to see the refreshing water below? How many, if they would have just endured a little longer and not given in to the struggle of life, would have made it to the reviving waters? How many, how many, if they would not have parted from the way; would not have become disoriented; would have made it from one water tank to another? Oh, the stories that could be told from the bones lying bleached in the wilderness. Stories that will never be told unless a person happens to come across their dry bones and attempts to surmise what might have happened.
The struggle, the heat, the dryness, and then, over the rise--look. No, it can't be, it must be a mirage. Look again, and the heat waves seem to still for a moment. Hope rises in your heart and you move a little faster. Because of your weariness you stumble, but only for a moment; for coming into view, is the refreshing water. The soul is craving water; the body is trembling at the thought to soothe the parched lips. Soon, the cool, refreshing water will trickle down your throat. There is plenty. Throw yourself in, restore yourself in its freshness.
Reflect, as you sit there, on the edge of the pool, now splashing those tired, hot feet in the coolness of the oasis. Ahhh, sweet relief, wonderful relief. Water, to reinvigorate the body and soul. But remember it is only a stopping point. The purpose is to have water, relief from the blast and dryness of the wilderness, to continue the quest onward. No matter how you came to the wilderness, whether it was by trying to escape a situation of life or being driven by the wind of God; you now seek to survive and you need water.
Water is essential. It may be the natural water of a desert oasis, or one of those tanks hidden in the cleft of the rocks along the rugged plateau. It may be the spiritual water given by the One who said, "I AM, the living water." It was needed, it was provided, refresh yourself for the continuation of the journey.
Perhaps now is the time to remember a time when you were extremely thirsty. What was the feeling that you had? How did you quench your thirst? Do you remember the relief that you felt as the liquid ran over your tongue and down your throat? Now, look--take time to look at what you have been trying to quench your spiritual thirst with. Go to the Rock from which flows eternal water; let Jesus quench your thirst.