Come to the living waters and "thirst no more"


New Hope Baptist Church is located not far from the banks of the Calcasieu River. The river meanders 200 miles across the southwest corner of Louisiana, draining bayou country into the estuaries along the Gulf of Mexico. When the United States and Spain argued ownership in the early 1800s, the lawless land on each side of the river was a haven for privateers. The live oaks with their sweeping branches and dangling moss provided the bandits perfect hiding places. But not all its past was so shady. The waters called to the area settlers looking for a good life, inviting them to build communities and farm nearby lands made rich by the spring floods depositing fortified sediment.


After the church was established in 1873, members gathered along the river on summer Sunday afternoons to plunge new believers in its waters, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The pastor planned the events only after a good number had made professions. Candidates were draped in white cotton gowns that seemed to glow beside the backdrop of the dark, slow-moving waters. The pastor raised his hand and declared, “This is my beloved in Christ.” He then lowered the convert, embraced in his arms, beneath the water. Church members shouted loud amens as the born-again soul was lifted from a watery grave.


The church building when I was a boy was no longer made of wood, cut from the land and milled nearby. It was built with whitewashed cinder block and had newly-made pine pews with red cushioned covers. I came to the Lord during summer revival and remember little other than I was a sinner, the joy of being forgiven, and the whisper of the waters.


When I was baptized, the service was not held along the banks of the river, but was held in the baptistry, a light-blue colored fiberglass pool that was filled with tap water the day before. Adorned in an old white choir robe that loosely fit my nine-year-old frame, I stepped down into the waters. I remember the chill of the waters made my teeth chatter.


Folks who stepped in the baptistry looked as if they were walking into the waters of the River Jordan. The landscape was painted on the back wall, appearing as if the river flowed into the baptistry. The faithful were trans-ported to the place where Jesus was plunged beneath the waters by His cousin John.


So much was different than the Calcasieu River baptisms, but so much was the same, sinners plunged beneath the water and raised to shouts of “Amen” and “Praise the Lord!”


In the beginning, God hovered over the waters, gathering it to allow dry land to appear. He made the seas swarm with living creatures. He used the mist to water the ground, planting a gar-den in Eden. It is from the watered land that food came and it is water that hydrated the body. Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. The brain and heart are composed of 73% water and the lungs are about 83% water. Water and Man are uniquely connected. God’s creation is dependent on water to live.


When God delivered the Hebrews from Egypt, it was the waters that swallowed up their enemies, saving their lives. John the Baptist ushered repentant hearts to the waters, obeying God’s call. And Jesus met the woman at a well, offering living waters.


It was odd that the Samaritan woman came to the well in the heat of the day, long after the other women had come to draw their water. She was alone, emotionally abandoned and struggling. Jesus asked the woman for water to quench His thirst, but it was the Samaritan who thirsted for waters to heal her parched soul.


Jesus calls us to the water He alone gives—“a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). It is life-giving, redemptive and restorative water that covers hurt and pain.


Join me. Let’s fully drink together. Whether you are saved or need to be, come and be immersed in the healing waters. Come to the waters and “thirst no more.” her parched soul.


Jesus calls us to the water He alone gives—“a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). It is life-giving, redemptive and restorative water that covers hurt and pain.


Join me. Let’s fully drink together. Whether you are saved or need to be, come and be immersed in the healing waters. Come to the waters and “thirst no more.”


Written by Jim Edminson, Editor of Charity & Children




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