Letter from Jon, August 2021
“..whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)
Dear Liberty Family
A couple of weeks ago Fiona and I were blessed to have some holiday time away with a couple of nights in Inverness and then some nights camping in Dunkeld. The weather was fantastic, the scenery amazing and I was struck again by what a beautiful country we live in. In both locations we had the privilege of being beside water. In Inverness we had a hotel right next to the Caledonian Canal and very close to the River Ness. We spent a lot of our time just walking beside the water; there is something so beautiful about sunshine on water. When it came to camping we hadn’t booked any site and decided we would just see what the weather was like after our visit to Inverness and see if we could book something last minute. Having tried many campsites around Inverness and Aviemore, without success, we set off down the A9 on our way home and, with a last try called a campsite in Dunkeld who did have space, and what a space! We were camped right beside the River Braan which flows through the Hermitage and into the Tay and we slept in our tent with the constant sound of the river outside. It was utterly beautiful with a short walk into Dunkeld.
During our time away I was asking God what he might be saying and I had the sense of him just encouraging me to be aware of what was around me, encountering him in the midst of his beautiful creation. Of course, the one thing that stood out were the rivers, sparkling with life, filled with power and potential (and more than a few salmon!) I was reminded of the many references in the Bible to streams and rivers, from the trees planted beside streams of water in Psalm 1, the quiet waters of Psalm 23, the river flowing from the temple in Ezekiel 47 which brings life wherever it flows, to the river of life in Revelation 22. The river is a symbol of God’s life, of abundance and healing, of his refreshing and provision. I believe that God is inviting us into a new season of life, a place where his river flows. He is inviting us to a place of refreshing, where his Spirit flows in and through us, where springs of living water welling up to eternal life for us and for those around us.
I believe God is inviting us to go deeper. For some this might be taking our shoes off and stepping into the cool refreshing water for the first time, for some it will mean wading into the place where we start to feel the force of the currents around us and for some it will mean diving in head first and being fully immersed in the river of life. Wherever you are in your experience of God, and whatever you have experienced in the past, I know there is more. Our God is a God of abundant life; rivers of life. Is anyone thirsty?