Photo and Commentary ©2017 by Robert Howson
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

You can hardly blame him; running for his life and hiding in the Judean wilderness where water was at a minimum. But it was in that setting David penned the words found in Psalm 63:1. “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is…” (KJV) His was both a spiritual and physical thirst.

All nature, including mankind, needs water to survive, and the methods of obtaining and using it are indeed varied. A classic example of this is the group known as succulents, sometimes called fat plants. These plants store water in such structures as leaves and stems. While this is also true of cacti, botanists would not classify them as a succulent. This ability to store water makes them particularly successful in arid regions or where water is inclined to run off the surface of the ground quickly. The example shown here is Sedum divergens, sometimes referred to as the Pacific Stonecrop, as well as other names.

Besides the plant’s ability to store water, succulents also conserve this precious commodity in a number of other ways. Their leaves are often absent or reduced in size which means the process of photosynthesis is carried out mainly in stems rather than leaves. Their outer surface is often waxy or hairy in nature which creates a micro-habitat around the plant. This minimizes air movement adjacent to the plant which in turn reduces water loss.

It may be that those of us who can quench our thirst with a twist of a faucet handle don’t fully value the importance people placed upon Christ’s words when He promised them living water. But if you want a different response, just ask the woman at the well or one of those succulents.