Abundance now

Anybody who has been in a desert is aware of what water means to life. The figure of water as a symbol of life runs through the Bible, and this is natural, given the parched, dry character of much of the Bible lands. Over and over God is referred to in the Scriptures in terms of the source of "living waters." The prophet Jeremiah, who makes use of this reference (see Jer. 17:13), also declares: "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord .... For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit." Jer. 17:7, 8. Isn't the prophet saying that our abundance doesn't depend on material conditions but is in proportion to our understanding of and obedience to God, who is the source of unceasing, overflowing good?

The desert experience of Hagar and her son, Ishmael, illustrates what seemed to be a hopeless situation. When their bottle of water gave out, it appeared inevitable that both would die. But there was a well of water there all the time—a well the woman didn't see until "God opened her eyes" to see it. See Gen. 21:9–20.

Like Hagar we may be so paralyzed with fear of deprivation that we become blind and deaf to opportunities that are available. The repetition of unemployment figures in the media may act as a hypnotic refrain in our thoughts. And our thinking has more bearing on our ability to have what we need than does the general economic situation. But we can replace fear with confidence that God will provide us with the spiritual discernment to see the well that can water our desert experience.

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The spiritual universe—where we live
December 9, 1985

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