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More than ninety percent of the country of Egypt is desert. This land receives less rainfall in an entire year than many countries experience in a single afternoon storm. Fortunately, the longest river in the world, the life-giving Nile, flows nearly a thousand miles through the length of Egypt, and “everything grows where the water flows.” (1) Satellite images show lush green along the banks of the Nile, contrasting starkly with the surrounding desert.

For thousands of years, Egyptian farmers had no need to fertilize their land because the Nile did it for them when it overflowed its banks each summer, spilling millions of tons of silt onto its flood plain. This silt contained all the nutrients the crops needed. The yearly floods left the ancient Egyptians grateful, but puzzled. Why did the Nile never dry up? The river always flooded in summer, the driest time of year, so where did all the precious water come from?

The secret of the flooding lay in the different climates of the two branches which fed the Nile. The White Nile originated in a tropical rain forest in the tiny African country of Burundi, receiving enough precipitation throughout the year to ensure a steady flow of water through Egypt. The Blue Nile’s source was in Ethiopia’s highlands where 60 inches of rain fell between May and October.

I Daily Drink of Living Water

Just as the ancient Egyptians were blessed by the flooding of the Nile, the living water of Jesus Christ—His truth and light and spirit—can flow into us, saving us from spiritual drought. We may not comprehend the source of this living water, but each time we turn to the Holy Scriptures, treasuring the words of Christ, we are drinking from a potent spring. As we focus intently on the gospel message and seek to apply the Savior’s teachings in our interactions with others, a portion of His living water flows through us.

What is the recommended daily allowance for living water? Can it even be measured? Perhaps the surest way to determine whether our water intake is sufficient is the same way we perceive the effects of the Nile River’s floods on Egypt’s desert: “Everything grows where the water flows.” (2) Are we growing in love for others—especially the Savior? Is our testimony of His word increasing steadily? Are the fruits of the Spirit ripening in our life? Positive spiritual growth is evidence of the presence of living water within us.

At times we may only flirt with spirituality by taking occasional sips from the Savior’s well, but it is when we drink deeply and consistently over an extended period of time that we will feel the full benefits of what Jesus offers. Yes, “He will make [your] wilderness like Eden, and [your] desert like the garden of the Lord,” (2 Nephi 8:3) but a thriving garden doesn’t bloom overnight, no matter how faithfully it is watered.

Drinking from other wells

While the Nile’s water sources originate in distant lands, Christ’s living water comes from a celestial spring, and cannot be duplicated by any other source. From the earliest days of man’s earthly existence, there have been counterfeit wells to confuse us. In modern times, the number of these wells has grown exponentially, and millions of thirsty souls are falling victim to tainted water. Addictions may form as we seek to slake our inner thirst for anything that will cure our boredom, satisfy our carnal desires, desensitize our conscience, or mask our emotional pain. Sadly, the downward spiral of addictions leads to despair as we encounter the law of diminishing returns. The danger of drinking from tainted wells is that every dipperful of water consumed actually increases thirst rather than quenching it.

As children of God, “…we came from a heavenly place where light—spiritual light—was our natural habitat. Though a veil was drawn over our minds when we entered mortality, we seem to carry with us a deep hunger for light and truth. However, we don’t always recognize that hunger for what it is. With our spirits housed in bodies and subject to “the natural man” (Mosiah 3:19), we attempt to fill our spiritual hunger by satisfying our physical cravings. It is a futile pursuit. ‘It shall even be…as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold he is faint, and his soul hath appetite.’ Only the living water of Jesus Christ can quench our thirst.” (3)

Referring to our Savior, Catherine Thomas writes, “Everything we thought we needed from other sources, we find in Him.” (4) Jesus Christ is the source of the “liquid light” that quenches and sustains as it flows through our minds and hearts. This living water has remarkable spiritual power, and just as the flora of Egypt flourishes along the banks of the Nile, we flourish spiritually when we drink deeply—and daily—from the Savior’s bubbling springs.

We are the desert of Egypt—parched and unfruitful. Jesus is river of living water which can flow through us—teeming with life, sparkles of light reflecting on its surface:

“He is a river that never runs dry,
He is living water in endless supply.
He’s a long, deep drink that can satisfy.
He’s a river that never runs dry.” (5)

Living Water

Words and music by Lynne Perry Christofferson
(from the album Keeping Sheep)
Soloist: Katherine Nelson

Rising in the early morning,
contemplating this new day,
needing power beyond my own
to strengthen me and send me on my way.
Turning to the Holy Scriptures,
treasuring the words of Christ,
this is water which He spoke of,
springing up to everlasting life.

(Chorus)

I daily drink of living water,
a flowing stream that fills my soul.
Oh, there is something in these words
beyond the wisdom of the ages,
for tiny drops of liquid light
come spilling from the pages.
I daily drink of living water.
Every day I cross a desert,
bringing water in supply,
for the hazards of the journey
tend to drain and leave a spirit dry.
How I crave this living water,
balm for every earthly pain,
strength to bear up each new burden,
Fountain to inspire and sustain.

(Chorus)

I daily drink of living water,
a flowing stream that fills my soul.
Oh, there is something in these words
beyond the wisdom of the ages,
for tiny drops of liquid light
come spilling from the pages.
I daily drink of living water.
An oasis of refreshment,
one on which I can rely.
Those who drink from other wells
will find that none can ever satisfy.
I daily drink of living water.

  1. Orrin G. Hatch/Janice Kapp Perry, Jesus Love is Like a River.
  2. ibid
  3. Lynne Perry Christofferson, Sisters, Arise! p. 66
  4. Catherine Thomas, Light In the Wilderness, p. 241
  5. Lynne Perry Christofferson, River that Never Runs Dry, lyrics.