Rivers of Living Water

From the book Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret – Chapter 15

After Hudson’s experience of “The Exchanged Life” he wrote about this truth from the scriptures John 7:37-39 just shortly before his first wife died. The words he penned about the place he found himself, is where I want reside. However, this realization comers with a sober truth, that it is likely that God is preparing you for something that will be very hard. The second part was written after his wife died. It’s encouraging and full of surrender. May God bless your hearing.

Rivers of Living Water


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And now I have the very passage for you, and God has so blessed it to my own soul!

John 7:37-39—”If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink.”

  • Who does not thirst?
  • Who has not mind-thirsts, heart-thirsts, soul-thirsts or body-thirsts

Well, no matter which, or whether I have them all — “Come unto me and” remain thirsty? Ah no! “Come unto me and drink.”

What, can Jesus meet my need? Yes, and more than meet it. No matter how intricate my path, how difficult my service; no matter how sad my bereavement, how far away my loved ones; no matter how helpless I am, how deep are my soul-yearnings—Jesus can meet all, all, and more than meet. He not only promises me rest—ah, how welcome that would be, were it all, and what an all that one word embraces! He not only promises me drink to alleviate my thirst. No, better than that! “He who trusts Me in this matter (who believeth on Me, takes Me at My word) out of him shall flow . . .”

Can it be? Can the dry and thirsty one not only be refreshed—the parched soil moistened, the arid places cooled—but the land be so saturated that springs well up and streams flow down from it? Even so! And not mere mountain-torrents, full while the rain lasts, then dry again . . . but, “from within him shall flow rivers”—rivers like the mighty Yangtze, ever deep, ever full. In times of drought brooks may fail, often do, canals may be pumped dry, often are, but the Yangtze never. Always a mighty stream, always flowing deep and irresistible!

“Come unto me and drink,” [he wrote in another June letter]. Not, come and take a hasty draught; not, come and slightly alleviate, or for a short time remove one’s thirst. No! “drink,” or “be drinking” constantly, habitually. The cause of thirst may be irremediable. One coming, one drinking may refresh and comfort: but we are to be ever coming, ever drinking. No fear of emptying the fountain or exhausting the river!

How sorely the comfort of Christ would be needed by his own heart that very summer, he little realized when writing; but the One he was trusting in a new and deeper way did not fail him.

[after his wife died]

How lonesome [Mr. Taylor recalled] were the weary hours when confined to my room! How I missed my dear wife and the voices of the children far away in England! Then it was I understood why the Lord had made that passage so real to me, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.” Twenty times a day, perhaps, as I felt the heart-thirst coming back, I cried to Him,

“Lord, you promised! You promised me that I should never thirst.”

And whether I called by day or night, how quickly He came and satisfied my sorrowing heart! So much so that I often wondered whether it were possible that my loved one who had been taken could be enjoying more of His presence than I was in my lonely chamber. He did literally fulfill the prayer:

“Lord Jesus, make Thyself to me

A living, bright reality;

More present to faith’s vision keen

Than any outward object seen;

More dear, more intimately nigh

Than e’en the sweetest earthly tie.”


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