2021 Easter Devotion: Rivers of Life
“When my daughter Katie was 11 we took a trip together to the southern edge of the Sahara. While we were in the city of Niamey, the temperature soared to 126◦F. We saw almost no grass. Niamey is the most parched city we had ever seen.”
Now imagine our surprise when after a few days in that dusty place, our hosts took us on a bridge over the thrird largest river in Africa. As we looked down into that sparkling water, I could not believe my eyes. Even more, I failed to understand why this city was not accessing and harnessing the millions of gallons of life giving water that flow under their noses every day.
Jesus said that he came that we may have life, life in all its fullness (John 10:10). In other words, although we walk, talk, feel, work and breathe, Jesus sees us as lifeless. I take this to mean there are dead places within us where God created us to be living and life giving. Now may I ask? Are there hopeless or arid places in you or around you?
Well, if this question somehow rings true, then you are not alone. People all over the planet are thirsting for life. Jesus said in John 7, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” Notice the three verbs in his statement. Drink. Believe. Flow. Jesus is the source of life. When we drink from the source we are resuscitated. God raises us up from death, and his zoe flows through us into the world.
Have you noticed that some people, by their nature, suck the life out of you? Other people are life giving. Our Mustard Seed teachers are life giving. They bring life to hopeless places, and the result is freedom. Dreams are awakened in the hearts of children. Hope is born with the opportunities a Christian education provides.
Although the pandemic has closed schools, put parents out of work and unleashed depression, our teachers bring faith, love and hope into the villages where they teach. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25).
This Easter, I want to believe in the resurrection and live it out. Come with me! Let us be that life and pass it on!
Paul Richardson – MSI International Director