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The Steamy Sauna
FIRE IN A furniture warehouse.” The dispatcher called me to a working blaze. It was confined to a warehouse above a furniture store in our small town. When I arrived ...

Reverend Wayne Detzler, PhD, Chaplain (Retired) – Charlotte, NC, Fire Department; Fellowship of Christian Firefighters Regional Director

THE STEAMY SAUNA

When water is all we need

FIRE IN A furniture warehouse.” The dispatcher called me to a working blaze. It was confined to a warehouse above a furniture store in our small town. When I arrived, it was well under control.

No one knew how it all started, but almost immediately a sprinkler system had sprayed the flame. When firefighters arrived, the sprinklers were still spraying the scene. Smoldering furniture filled the space with acrid smoke and steam.

Outside it was a blistering hot summer day (ninety degrees plus). While the sprinkler extinguished the fire, it also created a sauna-like atmosphere in the warehouse. Still, the firefighters worked their way through the warehouse searching out hot spots and remnants of the fire.

What should I do as chaplain? As a relatively new member of the fire department, I often asked myself this question. Then it dawned on me. As crews came out of the fire scene, they were absolutely wrung out by the heat and humidity.

“Have you got any Gatorade?” I asked the clerk in the convenience store next door. “I need to buy all you have.” In those days we didn’t yet carry drinking water on fire trucks. So, my request was really a stab in the dark.

I returned to the scene with an armful of Gatorade. As crew members came out of the building, I handed them a bottle. They eagerly grasped the refreshment, gulping it down to rehydrate themselves.

“Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)

It all reminded me of the Living Water the Lord promised to a soul-thirsty woman in Samaria. Her life was a mess. She was alienated from others in her community and isolated by her sin. Physically she craved water, and she came to the well at the worst time of the day, at noontime.

As always, Jesus met her at her time of deepest need. He offered her water that really satisfies—Living Water. He promised her absolute relief from her thirst. And the water worked. She invited others to taste this life-giving water.

Dehydration, despair, hopelessness, anguish, or misery—there is only one true remedy: Living Water. And you don’t have to run to the local convenience store to purchase it. It’s free and available by knee-mail.

Prayer:

You are Living Water in a dry and parched place, and I thank you, O Lord.


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