On Sunday morning, April 24, 2005, Troy Driscoll, 15, & his best friend, Josh Long, 17, both high school students from North Charleston, S.C., paddled out from Sullivans Island near their home for a day of fishing in a 15-ft. boat.
They intended to put the boat between the beach & a sand bar, but they weren’t out 20 minutes when a riptide pulled them out, further away from the beach. They tried to put the anchor down, but it wouldn’t take hold. They drifted farther & farther away. Hours went by. They tried to wave people down, but nobody saw them. Josh said that the last thing he saw was the towers on shore that lead cargo ships in. When nightfall came, they couldn’t see anything. The next morning there was no land in sight. “All we could do was pray,” said Josh.
By 10 p.m. on Sunday night, when the boys — who left Josh’s cell phone in his truck at a dock & had no radio or emergency equipment — hadn’t returned, their frantic parents called the Coast Guard. A rescue mission began which turned into a recovery mission 2 ½ days later, when the teens weren’t found. Finally, on Saturday, April 30, the seventh day after they set out, two fisherman spotted them & brought them to safety. They were 7 miles off Cape Fear & 111 miles from where they had launched.
While they were lost at sea, the teens battled the cold at night, the heat during the day, extreme hunger, & severe thirst.
Josh recalled: “Far from shore, the water turns clear, like blue Gatorade. Troy begged me, ‘Please, let me drink just a little.’ I said, ‘If you drink it, you’ll die.’” *
Josh was right. As Brett Petrillo states: “The negative effects of drinking seawater are well documented. Some of these effects include (1) dehydration & excessive thirst, (2) a spike in blood pressure, (3) physical problems like headaches, dizziness, nausea, & vomiting, (4) brain damage & (5) death. Drinking seawater is never a safe option to quench thirst.” **
“Water, water, everywhere but nary a drop to drink.” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge, from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Trying to quench one’s physical thirst with seawater can be compared to trying to quench the deep spiritual thirst in every person with the things of this world. Neither satisfies. Both are deadly.
Consider the Samaritan woman in John 4, who had tried to quench the thirst of her soul in many (failed) relationships. But then she met Jesus by Jacob’s well where he offered her “living water.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water [the water in the well] will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” – John 4:13-14
Because of His great love for us, God gave His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16). He died for us so that we might drink of the Living Water which provides salvation & eternal life.
Jesus will provide “living water” to those who: place their faith & trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), & are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will continue to quench the spiritual thirst & keep clean by His cleansing blood, those who continue to follow Him as a way of life (1 John 1:7).
When it comes to quenching the deep spiritual thirst, all that the world has to offer is seawater. It will never satisfy. It will kill you! ONLY Jesus offers the Living Water that will quench your thirst & give you eternal life.
Won’t YOU drink of that Living Water today?
—David A. Sargent, church of Christ at Creekwood