My dad listened to country music in his shop, and I can remember The Sons of the Pioneers singing “Cool Water” (1948). Bob Nolan wrote the song lyrics as a poem while he was in high school in Tucson and he later added the music.
The song tells of a cowboy’s thirst as he and his mule travel through the southwest desert in search of “where the water runs free and clear,” I think about this song today as the White Mountains are crying out for rain. Drought and lack of water is probably the reason the Anasazi (the old ones) left the area.
Water is a precious thing. It’s the conclusion of the astrophysical community that life, as we know it, will probably only exist on “water planets.” All life forms are composed mostly of water; 60 to 80% in animals and up to 90% in plants.
Water’s composed of hydrogen and oxygen atoms, H2O. Together they form a substance that quenches our thirst, cooks our food, enlivens our gardens, carries away wastes, and puts out fires. But, these elements by themselves are very flammable, even dangerous; you figure.
But God, who “gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist” saw fit to create water (Rom.4.17; Gen.1.6). God has withheld water in droughts, and He has flooded the earth with water as judgments (1 Kgs.17.1; Gen.7.15-24). He has also blessed earthmen with “pouring water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground” (Isa. 44.3). He has ordained “the early and the late rains” to ensure the harvest (James 5.7).
Jesus told the woman at the well, “Whoever drinks of this water (Jacob’s well) shall thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst...” (John 4.13,14a).
So it is that water, the necessity of life, is also the symbolic essence of spiritual well-being. Jesus continued, “The water that I shall give shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” (4.14b). “Unless one is born of the water and the Spirit, he cannot enter in the kingdom of God” (John 3.5).
O Lord God! Send the rain...even the rain that waters our souls.