I recently took trips with my family to Juniper Springs in the Ocala National Forest and Ichetucknee Springs near High Springs, Florida.They were great trips filled with many great memories. In fact, going into the Ichetucknee trip I had fond memories of tubing the river as a teenager with my youth group in Georgia, where I grew up. I remember traveling down to Florida and spending a fun filled day with friends from my church. We did encounter a Florida afternoon rain shower on one of those trips which produces the memory of one of the coldest, and yet one of the hottest days of my life. At one point on the river while it was raining, I was on my hands and knees on my inner tube trying to stay out of the 72 degree water. Back in the 80’s we tubed down the river on a tractor tire inner tube. After we got off the river we were sitting on our hot church bus, and I began to think, “I have never gone from being so cold, to so hot, so fast.”
I was delighted that my family did not encounter rain on our trip. The river has a way of producing enough goose bumps on one’s body without any help from rain. The crystal clear river has a therapeutic element to it. All the Florida springs I have experiences seem to have that effect. I realize why Achsah, Caleb’s daughter, in Joshua 15 asked her dad for the springs. She found something in them that she wanted to make sure she was close to them. It’s interesting that Achsah asked her dad for a blessing, and then for the springs. They were high on her priority list.
What makes them so therapeutic and inviting? I realize as people travel to Florida they think of Disney and the beaches but there is nothing like swimming in God’s swimming pools. In fact I believe these springs are a beautiful word picture to many attributes and characteristics of God Himself.
First of all, I think of springs as being refreshing. Some people like to slowly wade into the springs, which to me can be agonizing. Just plunging in is the way to go. It can be extremely refreshing, just like God. I can remember Steven Curtis Chapman singing the song Dive.
Caught in the rush lost in the flow in over my head I want to go
The river’s deep the river’s wide the river’s water is alive
So sink or swim I’m diving in
God is refreshing and He wants to daily refresh our life with His Word, His love, His guidance, and yes, even His commands. When Jesus encountered the woman caught in adultery in John 8, He made two statements to her. Both statements were full of grace and love, and both statements were refreshing. He told her, “Neither do I condemn you” and then He said, “Go and sin no more.” I find God’s love just as strong in command as I do the forgiveness. Remember, God’s refreshing is in every word He gives us.
The springs are pure, just like God. There are communities down here in Florida that have made a great deal of money bottling pure water from God’s springs. There are greater springs that Jesus offer each and every one of us. When Jesus encounter the woman at the well in John 4, He told her of waters that the well they sat at could not produce. He spoke to her about “Living Water” that He freely gives to those who with come to Him by faith. He told her that the water that He gives would make it where she would never thirst again. Not only that, but His water would well up inside of her producing eternal life! Jesus wants to flow His purity into our lives and through our lives. The impurity of this world, and in some cases the church, are all around us. We are all seeing the impact, and consequences of sin in our culture. However, Jesus is saying to us, drink of My pure, living water and never thirst again.
Last of all, the springs are therapeutic. They have a way of making one feel younger. I over heard one young lady exiting a blue hole say, “This is like a day at the spa!” If we allow Jesus resurrect our dead spirit, like He did the woman caught in adultery and the woman at the well, He will faithfully start bringing therapy to our soul. Our soul is made up of our mind (our thinker), will (our chooser), and emotions (our feeler). Those three areas of my life needs Jesus therapy every day! As I come and drink, dive in, and swim of Christ’s abundant springs of water I find days of refreshing, I feel His purity and it’s effects of my weary soul and body. I experience Jesus Therapy and it’s like a day at the spa.