From Eden flowed four rivers going to nourish the four corners of the earth. As they flowed through the years they changed, and grew, the Nile even changed into blood, but the Lord healed that too. The Sea of Reeds opened up to let the people of God pass through on a quest for the promised land. They got thirsty, like you. They asked their Creator for water, and He even split a Rock in Horeb, though the rock was only a vision of the true Rock to come. They did reach the promised land – by walking through water again. The Psalmists oft sing of the river of God that flows from the base of His sanctuary to give suck to the whole earth. His rivers rush through the minor prophets, the major prophets, making borders and wars, drying up for the ungodly, taking lives and giving them.
And then the River of Life was born in Bethlehem, the One Who would make all rivers true to their course. He Himself was immersed as heaven opened and blessed Him so that He might wash the world with the baptism of river-water, then the water of His tears, and then the water which flowed from His side on Calvary. You and I are born from here, cleansed from here, and redeemed from here.
From Eden to Paradise, we are people of the River, and we must both be born from it, and die again that we might live in the Eternal Font.
That reminds me of Flannery O’Connor’s story ‘The River’ about the little, lonely boy searching for the kingdom of God. Becoming a member of Christ’s kingdom really does involve a sort of suicide, doesn’t it? Does Christ wash us or does he kill us so that all things may be made new?