In Carlsbad New Mexico, just off a busy highway, and along the banks
of the Pecos River there is a sign. Truth be told, most signs occupy
our thoughts about as much as current weather conditions on Neptune,
and this sign is no different. Some of the residents of the town
don’t even know it’s there. But for the observant who happen to
stumble across it- the old sign is well worth the read. It tells the
story of a spring just a couple hundred feet downriver. It was an
important spring, a historic spring. In fact, most people would be
surprised to find that the town itself is named after the spring. The
sign will tell you that a hundred years ago Carlsbad Spring would gush
forth hundreds of gallons of water per minute. People would travel
long distances to visit. They believed the waters to possess healing
The spring, what’s left of it, is still perceptible if you’re willing
to walk the 200 feet or so from the sign to the source. But the
visitor with visions of turbulent torrents of frothy, sparkling waters
will be disappointed. Now, even a patient eye can barely discern a
stirring of silt and soil where a small stream of water struggles to
surface. Waves of healing waters, over time, have weakened and
dissipated to such an extent that, were it not for the sign, no one
would know that a powerful font of healing water once shook the ground
beneath their feet.
Imagine a visitor to Carlsbad Spring in the year 1900, thrilled that
he was privileged to witness such power. Imagine this visitor now
transported in time to the year 2015 with thoughts of once again
delighting in the waters of Carlsbad Springs. Imagine His shock and
dismay at seeing a mere dripping in the very place he once reveled in
a powerful healing flow. In his memories he could still see thousands
of thirsty people, some sick, traveling long distances to bask in the
healing waters. Now, as he looks around he realizes that the place is
deserted. Not even the residents of Carlsbad are aware of the place.
The flow has dried, the excitement is gone. Even the memories of what
once was have faded.
Carlsbad Spring is a parable of the dangers of forgetting the “living
water” of Christ. Unlike the spring at Carlsbad, our fount of living
water is eternal – The Holy Spirit’s life-giving flow will never dry
up, never lose it’s healing power and will never cease to thrill and
attract millions. But even though He will never stop abundantly
flowing throughout the world, it is possible for his flow to dry up in
our lives, our families, our churches and our nation. Water flows
where it encounters no resistance. It remains only in an
accommodating space. Rebellion, self reliance and indifference
effectively block the Holy Spirit’s living water from reaching our
parched souls. If we do not accommodate Him, He will leave.
Think back to your first life-giving encounter with Christ. Remember
how you were thrilled with the thought of drawing near to God in
prayer and the study of His Word. Consider your soul condition now.
Are you parched, desperate and weary? Do you even question the
reliability of your memories of joyful celebration with Christ? If
so, consider it a sign – a cautionary sign. Heed the sign. Exit the
dry highway of busyness and strife and make a rest stop at the Eternal
Spring. He is eternally there, and he is eternally powerful. He
desires to once again carry you along in torrents of blessings.
Dr. J. Christy Wilson used to say, “where water once flowed, it can flow again”.
If you long for torrents of God’s healing presence to once again
course in and through your soul, return to The One who says, “If
anyone thirsts, let him come unto me and drink. He who believes in
me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of
living water” (John 7:37b-38)