Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.” John 4:14 (The Message)
Impressions: larger than life, crowds of people, huge hotels, continuous sounds of buzzers and bells, the street lit up year round, and fantastic shows. People of all ages, nationalities, style, and income visit this city with high hopes for their future. Where? Las Vegas, of course. But I failed to list the little old lady plucking another quarter out of her bucket and sliding it into the shot machine, a bored expression on her face. I watched a young black man, whirl up from his chair in disbelief as the dealer raked in his chips at the card table…again. The lingering smell of stale smoke permeates the air and dirty glasses litter the tables. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a man sitting by the side of the road on a big rock, stoned from alcohol or drugs. I know, too, the unseen is even harsher and evil. So why was I there? I wanted to see and hear Celine Dion before she leaves her gig. I don’t gamble so we spent our time people watching, walking, taking it all in, avoiding the casinos. We played games, saw a movie, ate out – all the things you do on vacation. However, I wonder what God sees when He looks over that vast city? Does it remind Him of Sodom and Gomorrah? Are there local people, called to be salt and light, making a difference for the kingdom? It is called Sin City but I was curious and checked the Las Vegas Facts noting that there are more than 500 churches and synagogues, which far outnumbers all the big hotels and casinos. I pray that those people of faith will minister to the lost and lonely souls that we observed and offer them the satisfying water of life that Jesus gives. Instead of packing the empty holes in their hearts with the earthly thrills of Vegas, they will be filled to the brim with something even greater and longer lasting—eternal life. I enjoyed the time with friends and the shows were great but as we drove home, I knew that it would be many years before we make that trek again. I much prefer the streams in my desert—streams of Living Water.