An old-fashioned fire engine red water pump

Published 10:00 am Sunday, October 30, 2022

By Larry Davies 

Sowing Seeds

Zig Ziglar once told a story of an old-fashioned, fire-engine red, hand water pump. I have seldom used one but there was a time, if you wanted water you had to have it. This pump for me, is a great illustration of our journey of faith.

On a hot July afternoon on a country road in the middle of nowhere, John and Bill traveled for hours in an old broken-down car with a busted air conditioner. They were hot and looking for something, anything to relieve their thirst.

On the side of the road, they came upon an old-fashioned, fire-engine red, hand water pump. The car screeched to a halt and they both ran to the pump. John grabbed the handle and began to furiously work it up and down… no water. “What’s wrong with this thing? Why won’t it work?”

Lesson 1. Unfortunately, we do not often look for God until we are thirsty.

Meanwhile, Bill was looking around and pulled out a jar full of water. He said: “I read that a pump like this needs water to prime it.”

“Forget the pump,” said John! “Let’s drink the water now and be on our way!”

Lesson 2. We all too quickly seek to do it our way instead of God’s way.

Bill Said, “It’s not enough to satisfy our thirst. We have to pour it into the pump.”

Lesson 3. The temptation is to settle and miss something so much better.

Bill poured the water into the pump and began to work the handle up and down but nothing happened, so he stopped.

“Don’t quit!” shouted John as he grabbed the handle. “If you stop now, the water will go back down, and we’ll have to start over!”

Lesson 4. Faith often means taking risks and refusing to quit.

John continued pumping when suddenly, cold-clear spring water gushed out of the pump. There was more than enough fresh good tasting water to satisfy all their needs. Eagerly Bill cupped the cool wetness in his hands and felt the sweet liquid completely quench his thirst.

Lesson 5. Faith means, “Don’t quit!” even when it looks hopeless.

Before leaving, John refilled the jar and placed it under the pump. It was the right thing to do. Then the two men, thirst completely quenched, returned to the car, and resumed their journey.

Lesson 6. In the end, trust that God will provide far more than we deserve.

Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.” We are promised the cool, life-giving water of God. Once our thirst is satisfied, we offer this living water to others.

Lesson 7. Share your gift of “living water.” It is the right thing to do.

Occasionally, there are challenging moments when we are especially hot, dry and thirsty and desperately in need of the cool, refreshing water only God can provide. The “Living Water” pump is there. Do we look for it? Can we avoid the easy solution and look for God’s answer? Are we willing to take the risk needed and then refuse to quit? Our faith in Christ is dependent upon people like you and me looking for the gift of cool living water and our willingness to share that gift with others.

Rev. Larry E. Davies can be reached at larrydavies@vaumc.org.