If you ever have the opportunity to drive in a desert, you may encounter a mirage. A mirage is the image of an oasis of water or village in the distance. As you move toward this mirage, it also moves at the same speed and in the same direction until it disappears from view. It is a deception of nature that plays a trick on your eyes. Anyone would very easily confuse this mere image for real living water.
I spent most of my life in Iran, a semi-desert land where mirages were quite common. When I saw one for the first time, I was so sure that rainwater had accumulated in that area. It was hard to believe, when I approached it, that it was as dry and barren as the rest of the desert.
There are many stories about travelers who have lost their way in a desert, in search of water, and repeatedly confuse the mirage with the lake and pond. Some have lost their lives chasing these false images of water. If only they were given some sort of warning; Do not be confused! What you are seeing is not a lake nor a village. Go the other way and save yourself.
God brought Isaiah 40:3 to my mind: “A voice of one calling: In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”
I imagine being surrounded by thirsty, frustrated people in a desert. Someone approaches me and asks me, “Why didn’t you warn me? Why didn’t you tell me I was going to die? Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” Knowing very well where the true water was the entire time, I don’t know how I would respond.
Visualize this image. Today’s passage reminds us of the privilege that we have in not just having access to this water, but in being able to share it with others. We know that Christ is the Way, and that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved John 14:6; Joel 2:32a. But how can they call on him if they’ve never heard of him? Paul encourages us to bring people to that place, and we can do so by showing them the beauty of our Saviour.
You have a worthy calling, friend, to preach the gospel to the lost. This is the call and duty for each one who is saved. As a Christian originally from Iran, my heart breaks for my country. Almost the entire nation lives without hope and without Jesus. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could help people in the desert of Iran know Jesus? How are you going to influence people who have not yet heard the gospel message?
Jesus, you are the living water. Your love, provision, and grace never run dry. Help me to use my gifts today to share your message with people next door, online and around the world, so many will trust in you, Jesus. Use my story of faith to encourage others. Send me out, Father, to bring the good news into the desert. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Make a Difference Today: Every month, over 3,000 Iranian seekers visit our Farsi website ba2am.com, searching for hope. Our desire at P2C Digital Strategies is to connect them with an online mentor who will walk with them through their struggle and help them learn about Jesus. A gift of $12 can connect a person in Iran with an online missionary and help them find the source of Living Water: Jesus.
Would you be part of the spiritual transformation of Iran? Your monthly gift of $12 will help people in Iran know Jesus through our Persian Project. Make a difference and give today. God is sending you and I to bring the gospel to nations, and we long for the day when Persia becomes a nation transformed by the love of Jesus.
Photo Credit: Haci Elmas on Unsplash