“Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.” (Hosea 6:3, ESV)
Outside my front door is a plastic box full of strawberry plants. The recent sunshine and showers have meant they are thriving – sending out lush green leaves and starting to bud. I can see the first fruit beginning to develop in the middle of the flowers.
The Bible often uses natural imagery to convey something of who God is and what he’s like. Here in Hosea we’re encouraged to “press on to know the Lord”, who will come to us as “the spring rains that water the earth”. Just as the recent rain means that my strawberry plants are flourishing, so it is with knowing the Lord – as we see more of who he is and what he’s like, we find ourselves refreshed, and our hearts are drawn to him once more.
Jesus picks up a similar theme in John 4, where he says that “whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
This spring of water “flowing from within [us]” (John 7:38-39) is the Holy Spirit, who brings eternal life. And what is the life that the Spirit brings?
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)
The Holy Spirit pours the love of God into our hearts (Romans 5:5) so that we might know the Father and the Son. As we know more of them, our hearts are nourished and transformed. As we drink this living water, just like my plants in the spring rains, we find we grow and flourish, knowing life in its fullness, bearing much fruit.
So drink deep, doubting heart. He will come to us “as the spring rains that water the earth”, graciously bringing life to arid lives and hard hearts, always and forever overflowing with love.