Priming the Pump

Have you ever watched any old western movies? If you have, you’ve probably seen a classic example of a man—or woman – versus nature.

Someone is lost and wandering in the desert and just about when they can’t go any further, they stumble upon an old well. A dusty mason jar full of water leans against one of those old hand-pumps. Hot, sweaty, and on their last legs, they thankfully pick up the jar but find a folded piece of paper with the words “Warning -- Read First” printed in large, bold letters.

Their lips are parched, their throat probably feels like burnt toast, and they are hot – hotter than they’ve ever been in their life. They hold the jar out in front of them, tempted to uncap it and drink. However, they can’t ignore that word – warning. Reluctantly, they gently place the jar on hard-packed earth and pick up the paper. It crackles as they unfold it.

The instructions are simple. “Empty jar to prime pump. Drink your fill.” The directions conclude with the admonition to refill the jar and leave everything as they found it.

The temptation is obvious – ignore the instructions. After all, they are holding life-giving water in their hand. Never mind how bad it might taste. What’s that old saying – a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush? What if the well is dry? What if the pump is broken? They may even try working the handle up and down … listening to see if maybe they can hear the swoosh of water being sucked up by the pump. And of course, they can’t.

They can chance it and drink what’s in the jar. True, it isn’t much. There’s no telling how long the water’s been there. Chances are it isn’t fresh and guaranteed it is anything but cool. They know it’s wet, but then again, they wonder if it’s enough. Will they be lucky enough to stumble across another source of water nearby?

But it’s tangible … they can see it. On the other hand, they know in their heart that it won’t be enough. Yet, they realize they are trusting that the water will prime the pump so that it works properly and that there is still water in the well. Ultimately, it comes down to whether or not they believe in the one who wrote the note and either accept it as truth or reject it.

Faith is a lot like priming the pump. God has left us instructions in his Word. And He’s provided us with a source of living water. Certainly we can choose to discard both and instead choose something that looks like it will provide all we need.

The question is, are you willing to take the risk. Regardless of what living water can provide, are you willing to risk not even knowing?

There’s one thing I promised myself that I would try to do in this blog and that was to be relevant. To me, being relevant in what I write means being real. After all, we don’t live in a vacuum. It’s easy to pull up a scripture verse and point to it as Truth. It is Truth. However, if people can’t relate to it, then it’s usually harder to accept.

Of course, there are times when we not only get to the end of our rope, we actually are hanging by a thread. Suddenly, the Truth seems to be the only thing we have. Sometimes God works that way. Yet, I believe our loving Father would much rather see us learning the Truth in a less desperate way.

If you live in the desert, you gain a new appreciation of water. You understand the importance of this life-giving element.

You learn that even when you don’t feel the need, you must replenish your body with water. In the dry heat, moisture evaporates quickly and invisibly. You hardly notice … that is until it’s almost too late.

Dehydration kills. Recent heat waves have taken lives. Our body needs water. In fact, our body is seventy to eighty-five percent water. So, to operate efficiently, we need to drink our fill – and then some.

God’s left us directions as well. The Bible truly is an awesome book. It isn’t just filled with rules and regulations, as so many believe. While there are instructions on how to live, there is also common-sense advice. Most importantly, the Bible is God’s love letter to us. Consider the kind of letter a parent might write to a child knowing they would be separated from them. In a way, that’s what the Bible is.

And like the scene from an old western, we too have a choice. We can trust what we can see, feel, and touch – the tangible things of this world. Or we can trust the words of Truth. The question is, will the water in that jar give life or just an illusion? When it’s gone, it’s gone. Not only have God’s words survived for thousands of years, they’ve been proven over and over again.

Here’s another story that tells about living water:

The Samaritan woman, taken aback, asked, “How come you, a Jew, are asking me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (Jews in those days wouldn’t be caught dead talking to Samaritans.)

Jesus answered, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.”

The woman said, “Sir, you don’t even have a bucket to draw with, and this well is deep. So how are you going to get this ‘living water’? Are you a better man than our ancestor Jacob, who dug this well and drank from it, he and his sons and livestock, and passed it down to us?”

Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”

The woman said, “Sir, give me this water so I won’t ever get thirsty, won’t ever have to come back to this well again!” The Message, John 4:9-15

Instead of stale water that satisfies for only a short period of time, I like the idea of living water that lasts for eternity.

Blessing, Francine


    On 6:13 AM Cami said...

    I have NEVER heard it better put...

    On 2:11 PM Francine said...

    Cami ... your encouragement has been instrumental in what I hope to share with others here. Thank you so very much.

    Blessings, Francine

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