The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:11-14 (KJV)
The fervent imagination is kindled by the majestic references in God’s Word to Rivers of Living Waters, Seas and her billows, Springs gushing forth in abundance, and Wells of Water springing up into everlasting life. To the thirsty soul traversing the endless sands and dunes of the Saharan Desert there may appear dreams of discovering water just beyond the next dune; or perhaps his fevered brow may be attracted by the devil’s mirage: and the very mention of water may drive the perishing desert soul mad with thirst. The world itself is a desert of sin and injustice. The soul who travels across this vast expanse of wilderness and deceit may yearn for just a drop of the Water of Life which can satisfy the thirsting spirit and refresh a dying soul. There may be times when we discover an old stone well, but find it dry of water. But we may, at the dry well of this world, discover the Well of the Living Waters of Life which our Lord freely dispenses on parched lips.
Our hymn today is one which should prepare our hearts to cross the Lenten Desert of the coming season. But at the end of every river, one will usually find a great body of water. That will be our Easter blessing.
This hymn is the authorship of Henry J. Zelley in 1900 and reminds the soul of another beautiful hymn of living waters such as “Like a Glorious River.” The music is entitled, MY SOUL TODAY IS THIRSTING FOR LIVING STREAMS DIVINE, by Henry F. Gilmour.
LIKE A MIGHTY SEA
1 My soul today is thirsting for living streams divine,
To sweep from highest heaven to this poor heart of mine;
I stand upon the promise, in Jesus’ name I plead;
Oh, send the gracious current to satisfy my need.
Like a mighty sea, like a mighty sea,
Comes the love of Jesus sweeping over me;
The waves of glory roll, the shouts I can’t control;
Comes the love of Jesus sweeping o’er my soul.
2 I see the clouds arising, the mercy clouds of love,
That come to bring refreshing down from the throne above;
The earnest of the shower, just now to us is giv’n,
And now we wait, expecting the floods of grace from heav’n.
3 The show’rs of grace are falling, the tide is rolling in,
The floodtide of salvation, with pow’r to cleanse from sin;
It’s surging through my being and takes my sin away,
It keeps me shouting glory! through all the happy day.
4 It’s coming, yes, it’s coming, it’s coming down this hour,
A torrent of salvation in saving, cleansing pow’r:
I hear the billows surging, I see them mount and roll;
Oh, glory, hallelujah! they’re sweeping through my soul.
1 My soul today is thirsting for living streams divine, To sweep from highest heaven to this poor heart of mine; I stand upon the promise, in Jesus’ name I plead; Oh, send the gracious current to satisfy my need.
If our souls thirst not for that Living Water of our Lord, it may be time to redouble our efforts to make our election sure because every man, woman and child who has tasted that Living Water will be changed forever and shall never forget the Well from which it sprung in our Lord Jesus Christ! Our Lord abandoned the Corridors of Opulence in Heaven to come to us as a little child in a manger. He travelled from place to place without adequate rest to tell us the Gospel and point us to the Father. He walked the shores of Galilee, the mountains of Samaria, and the dusty roads of Jericho and Jerusalem for us. And then He submitted Himself to the most egregious torture and beatings for us – the most unimaginable humiliation – and He carried His cross down the Via Dolorosa to lay down His life for His chosen. This is the Lenten Season, and we look up that long and sorrowful road that our Lord travelled on His last journey to Jerusalem, and to the brow of the horrid hill called Golgotha. That is a hard road to travel, but we also see the end of that road. It does not end at the cross, but to an open Tomb! That Mighty Sea of Love made available in our Lord is sufficient to satisfy every craving thirst.
2 I see the clouds arising, the mercy clouds of love, That come to bring refreshing down from the throne above; The earnest of the shower, just now to us is giv’n, And now we wait, expecting the floods of grace from heav’n. The clouds we see at the end of a long draught may signify a coming storm, but the life-giving waters of the storm make it worth the wind and lightning. Life is like that! We must experience many storms of life to win through to victory. The storms form from the turbulent atmosphere of the world, but the water itself is God’s gift of life. And, at the end, a RAINBOW! Natural floods and torrents can cause great damage, but the floods of grace from Heaven bring joy and satisfy the soul’s desperate thirst.
3 The show’rs of grace are falling, the tide is rolling in, The floodtide of salvation, with pow’r to cleanse from sin; It’s surging through my being and takes my sin away, It keeps me shouting glory! through all the happy day. When the billowing clouds send forth drenching waters, does this occur at your efforts or merits? Not in the least. Man does not control vast weather systems on earth; and neither do we control, or merit, the showers of Grace that God sends down on His people. Grace is free, and never deserved. It is the grace of God’s Living Waters that cleanses us – not we ourselves. It is undeserved and a source of God’s choice – not ours.
4 It’s coming, yes, it’s coming, it’s coming down this hour, A torrent of salvation in saving, cleansing pow’r: I hear the billows surging, I see them mount and roll; Oh, glory, hallelujah! they’re sweeping through my soul. There is a line in another great old hymn that satisfies the meaning of this verse: “Floods of joy fill my soul, like the Sea billows Roll, When Jesus came into my heart.” Those sea billows we hear are the proclamations of the everlasting Gospel across the desert world. “There is water to be had here by the Well of our Lord!” they exclaim. Just as the rolling waves of the sea overwhelm the lonely swimmer, so does the Gospel of Christ overwhelm the ears of the believer. He hears with crystal clarity the rise and fall of the breakers along the shore of his soul. He wonders why the multitudes do not hear and rejoice. He knows not that the vast multitudes of the world are deaf and blind to see what his anointed soul is privileged to behold.
REFRAIN: “Like a mighty sea, like a mighty sea, Comes the love of Jesus sweeping over me;
The waves of glory roll, the shouts I can’t control; Comes the love of Jesus sweeping o’er my soul.” There have been moments of despair in the life of every reader of this devotion. Life seems unfair, and we are often dealt defeats of such magnitude that we can barely breath. When my mother passed into glory at the season of Mother’s Day, I was making my long drive back home to Alabama with a heavy heart. I had never truly thanked her for the great blessings of the songs she sang when I was growing up, nor for much of anything else other than superficial remarks. But then I remembered some of those classic old hymns she used to sing: “In the Garden,” “When the Roll is called up Yonder,” “Abide with Me,” “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross,” “Rock of Ages,” and a hundred other such hymns; I remembered, “It is not what I should have given my mother, it was what a tremendous gift my mother had given me to store in the Treasure House of my memory, and to share alike. As I drove, I tried to sing and remember every song that she had painted, in indelible ink, in my heart. As I sang, I grew joyful beyond measure. It was as though my ‘thank you’ to my mother in Heaven was in my remembering those hymns. In a nutshell, I experienced a spiritual revival only hours after my mother’s passing. Seeds of Faith are sown in the hearts of those blessed with a good mother, and she also lives on in that seed. I hope every mother and father reading this will plant such seeds in their own little ones, and even the orphaned child.