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Coming to Water - Living a Grateful Life

By: Lee Mitchell, N.E.O. Wesley Student Center Director


John 4:13-14 New International Version (NIV)

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

As the story goes every morning before beginning their day each person of the tribe would go to a body of water, perhaps a river or maybe just a bowl near where he or she had slept. While at the water they would move their index finger clockwise in representation of creation and say all the things that they were grateful for… “I am grateful for the Earth. I am grateful for my family. I am grateful for the birds. I am grateful for music…” until the person had expressed to the Creator God all that they were grateful for. This Native American Tradition was called “Coming to Water.”

During this time when it is so easy to focus on everything that is going wrong, I would encourage you to go to the water and reflect on everything that you can and should be grateful for. Water is the symbol of life, renewal and transformation. Drink of the water that Jesus Christ has given you. Let that water fill your heart with gratitude, even when you don’t feel like it. There are and will continue to be days when you will thirst for those whom you have lost, moments you can’t get back, like commencement for all my graduates - live through these emotions. Grieve these moments but then come back to the water, each and every morning come back to the water and find something to be grateful for and give praise to God for it.

The great author C.S. Lewis once said, “Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.” Everyday is a new beginning. Everyday is an opportunity to do and be better. A grateful heart will help you to become the person God has always intended you to be – kind, loving and faithful. Use this time of social distancing to grow in your faith and build meaningful – lasting relationships with those around you. Show your loving-kindness to those closest to you and to strangers in need. Bring not only your gratitude to God but also your grief, fears and uncertainties.

The water that Jesus gives each of us fills us from the tips of our toes, to the tops of our heads and deep within every part of our souls. Jesus’ spring of water will become on overflowing fountain of water when you come to him with all that you are and sit at his feet broken, beaten, hurt and confused but still grateful.


May you be wrapped up in God's love. Found deep in his everlasting wings. Carried and kept, safe and cherished. May the healing power of Christ breathe across your being now. Amen.

— Unknown

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