Author: David Causey, USA (Ret.)

afghanistan. Photo by The U.S. Army is licensed under CC By 2.0

Should you ever find yourself rafting down the Grand Canyon’s Colorado River, at mile 212.9 you’ll spot a point of interest.  It’s Pumpkin Spring…

Dangerous Curiosity

…As its name suggests, it looks like a huge pumpkin – with its top cut off.  It’s a huge bowl made of orange-stained travertine limestone.  And it’s marked with those telltale ridges you’ll find on the sides of any pumpkin.  And filling this large bowl are the greenish waters of a hot spring.  They are most inviting to a weary traveler.

But you won’t want to wade in this pool.  And you certainly wouldn’t dare drink its waters.  Why?  It’s because the waters of Pumpkin Spring are loaded with copper, zinc, lead, and dangerously high levels of arsenic.  The “safe” limit of arsenic is 50 milligrams per liter of water.  Pumpkin Spring’s the level is 1,100 milligrams per liter.

Yet, despite the abundance of fresh water in the Colorado River and the numerous freshwater springs throughout the canyon, people still insist on testing the poisonous waters for themselves.  The warnings of the National Park officials just aren’t enough to satisfy their curiosity.

Lack of Integrity

A U.S. Navy Corpsman assigned to Field Medical Training Battalion East (FMTB-E), checks on members of his squad during a final exercise (FINEX) at Camp Johnson, N.C., March 1, 2016. FINEX is a culminating event at FMTB-E which transitions Sailors into the Fleet Marine Force. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. James R. Skelton/Released)

Does this remind you of anyone?  Think about the first human couple in the Garden of Eden.  In that piece of heaven which God transplanted to earth, intended as a dwelling place for God and humanity, the LORD planted a forest of fruit-bearing trees.  Most notable among them was the Tree of Life, whose life-giving fruit would cause a person to live forever.  But among its many trees the Garden of Eden had one single prohibition – the Tree of the Knowledge (experiential knowledge) of Good and Evil.  God warned Adam and Eve that if they ate of this tree, it would most certainly be fatal (Genesis 2:16-17).

But God’s warning just wasn’t enough to satisfy their curiosity.  Nor were the thousands of other fruit-bearing trees of the Garden enough to satisfy their appetite.  They just had to taste the poisonous fruit for themselves.

Of course, they had plenty of help from the deceiver, Satan.  In fact, Satan twisted God’s warning into a prohibition against all the trees.  “Did God say you may not eat of any tree of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1).  But Adam and Eve must have already gravitated to God’s one prohibition, since that’s where Satan found them (Genesis 3:1-7).  And sure enough, they died an immediate spiritual death and a very long and miserable physical death (Genesis 3:16-24).

Eternal Satisfaction

U.S. Army Spc. Gerald Schumacher of 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, climbs a mountain Jan. 11, 2012, in Watapur district, Kunar province, Afghanistan.

That same foolhardy tendency haunts us all.  Despite God’s warnings – and the ocean of God’s presence that surrounds us, we insist on dipping our tongue into the poisonous waters of sin to satisfy our thirst.  Are we lonely, afraid or restless?  Why do we think that some sin-trip will bring us relief – when experience tells us that it will only make us more miserable?  And how many times must we sicken our souls and our bodies with its brew before we finally learn that only Jesus can satisfy our hearts?

Jesus said, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again.  But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst.  For the water that I will give him shall become a well of water, springing up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14).  And again, “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to Me shall not hunger.  He who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).

Only Jesus can satisfy the human heart.  No matter what longing drives us, let’s trust in Jesus to satisfy our heart and to give us peace.


Dear Lord Jesus, please remove from my heart every impure and evil desire.  Open my eyes and help me to see the ocean of God’s presence and blessings that surround me – which alone can satisfy this restless longing in my heart.  May I find peace, healing, and joy in Your loving embrace. Amen.

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