One of the best illustrations I have ever heard

Jesus said you must lose your life to find it.  I have been meditating on that a lot recently and have just heard an illustration that captures it brilliantly.

A man is wandering through a desert with bottles of water on his shoulder. He conserves his water careful until it is all gone and then he begins to get thirsty. That thirst gets deeper and deeper until he sees a pump and runs to it. He lifts the handle and pulls it down but all he hears is the sound of metal on metal. He starts to panic. Then he sees a tin can at the bottom of the pump and in the tin can is a message. “Dear traveller do not despair there is enough water here, just follow the instructions. Lift the handle of the pump, bring it down and when you hear the sound of metal on metal discouraging you here’s what you do. Under the pump in front of you there is buried under the sand a bottle of water. Do not despair. Pick up the bottle of water pour it into the cylinder and start priming the pump. The moisture will get the system to work. A rush of water will start gushing out of the pump. You can drink all of the water you want, fill all your bottles but do not forget to fill up the bottle again and leave it for the next passerby. Warning: you’re going to be tempted, when you see this one bottle of water, to drink it. But you’ll be so thirsty again and so will everyone else who goes by. Empty it out as instructed and you will have all the water you want and so will everybody else going by”….

Ravi Zacharias who was telling the story continued:

When you come up against Christ he offers you that drink, that living water to free you to be what he designed you to be, not to be enslaved just by the moment. If you empty your life on yourself you will soon be thirsty again and so will everybody else who comes across your path. Empty it out into his hands and he will fill you and give you the water that you can share with everybody  body else too so life can be full and meaningful. 

In the song that Ravi drew the illustration from there is a line “You got to give until you get-I’m the one who ought to know”. If we drink all we have life will eventually run out but if we pour out our lives for Jesus we will soon begin to draw on his everlasting life.

PS. Here are the lyrics to the original song that Ravi got the illustration from. It’s called

Desert Pete by the the Kingston Trio

I was travellin’ West a buckskin on my way to a cattle run

Cross a little cactus desert under a hot blisterin’ sun

I was thirsty down to my toenails, stopped to rest me on a stump

But I tell ya I just couldn’t believe it when I saw that water pump

I took it to be a mirage at first, it’ll fool a thirsty man

Then I saw a note stuck in a bakin’ powder can

“This pump is old”, the note began, “but she works so give’r a try”

“I put a new sucker washer in ‘er, you may find the leather dry”

“You’ve got to prime the pump, you must have faith and believe”

“You’ve got to give of yourself ‘fore you’re worthy to receive”

“Drink all the water you can hold, wash your face, cool your feet”

“Leave the bottle full for others, Thank You kindly, Desert Pete”

“Yeah, you’ll have to prime the pump, work that handle like there’s a

fire”

“Under that rock you’ll find some water I left in a bitters jar”

“Now there’s just enough to prime it with so dontcha go drinkin’

first”

“You just pour it in and pump like mad, buddy, you’ll quench your

thirst”

“You’ve got to prime the pump, you must have faith and believe”

“You’ve got to give of yourself ‘fore you’re worthy to receive”

“Drink all the water you can hold, wash your face, cool your feet”

“Leave the bottle full for others, Thank You kindly, Desert Pete”

Well I found that jar and I tell ya nothin’ was ever prettier to my

eye

And I was tempted strong to drink it, cuz that pump looked mighty dry

But the note went on “have faith my friend, there’s water down below”

“You got to give until you get-I’m the one who ought to know”

So I poured in the jar and I started pumpin’ and I heard a beautiful

sound

Of water bubblin’ and splashin’ up outta that hole in the ground

I took off my shoes and I drunk my fill of that cool refreshing treat

I thank the Lord and thank the pump and I thank old Desert Pete

“You’ve got to prime the pump, you must have faith and believe”

“You’ve got to give of yourself ‘fore you’re worthy to receive”

“Drink all the water you can hold, wash your face, cool your feet”

“Leave the bottle full for others, Thank You kindly, Desert Pete”

“Drink all the water you can hold, wash your face, cool your feet”

“Leave the bottle full for others, Thank You kindly, Desert Pete”

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