Sometimes help is closer than we think. After exhausting their water supply, the sailors aboard a ship in South America were famished. Suffering from dehydration, the clock was ticking on their survival. Spotting another vessel nearby, the desperate sailors sent out a distress signal which pleaded, “Please help us! We are dying of thirst!”

The neighboring vessel signaled back, “Then lower your buckets, and you will draw fresh water.” They had unwittingly been navigating through the outflow of the Amazon River – a trillion-gallon reservoir of fresh water.

Many Christians are in dire straits, being carried aimlessly about by currents of fear, discouragement, regret over the past, and anxiety concerning the future. They struggle for some time, until at last they reach the end of their rope. In desperation, they cry out to God for help, only to find that had they lowered their buckets into His Word, they would have found promises to sustain them in their distress.

It is better to ask late than never, but it is best to seek aid before we are in a desperate situation. God is always available to hear our prayers — prayer is an essential source of sustenance in our difficulties. The Word of God is also a ready help in our times of need. We need only lower our buckets to find life and nourishment.

At times, each of us experiences weariness from emotional or spiritual dehydration. Difficult people will try our patience, the demands of our jobs or schoolwork will add further stress, temptation will encourage us to lower our guard and indulge, and fatigue will put us on edge and cause us to lose our zeal. Unless we learn to lower our buckets early and often, we will perish of thirst. Go ahead and fill up your bucket now — you never know when you might need it.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.