Monday, July 26, 2021


Watchman on the Wall: Don’t drink the water

Loraine Joy | Community Columnist

Who remembers the old car radios with the dials? Not the push-buttons, but the ones that had a lot of static, and you had to dial it just right to get the best reception. That’s kind of like God trying to speak to us. He’s always trying to communicate, but we’re not in tune. We haven’t turned our attention toward Him and tried to dial in. Sometimes He comes in loud and clear; other times there’s a lot of static. Be assured He is always there; He is always trying to get our attention. He delights in His children, and as any good Father, wants to communicate.

Living on nine acres in Grass Valley, raising goats, helping at the elementary school and participating in 4-H, I was a busy Mom of three. I had learned the only way to get through my day with energy and sanity was to spend my first hours in prayer and Bible study. I let Holy Spirit be my alarm clock, and He faithfully woke me between 4 and 6 AMI would read, stop and meditate and write down any thoughts and impressions. One morning I received a startling thought, “Don’t drink the water!” It came loud and clear. I questioned it. Again I heard clearly, “Don’t drink the water!” It was urgent and insistent.

At 6 AM the children awoke to do their chores and get ready for school. As I heard them stirring, I went to each and said, “Don’t drink the water.” “Why not?,” they each asked. “I don’t know,” I replied. “I heard God clearly tell me, “Don’t drink the water.” Short time later, my husband woke up, and the children told him, “Don’t drink the water, Daddy.”

“Why not?,” came the obvious reply. “We don’t know, but God told Mom not to drink the water.” He eyed me skeptically. “That’s right,” I replied, “don’t drink the water.” “Hogwash, how dumb.” To prove his point, he went to the kitchen sink, turned on the faucet and filled a large glass with spring water.

He lifted the glass to examine the water in the light. “There’s nothing wrong with this water,” and drank it down in four huge gulps. About ten minutes later he grabbed his stomach, began moaning, ran for the bathroom and began heaving his guts out into the toilet. He was really pale and clammy.

When he had sufficiently recovered, he walked down to our water source. There was a heavy lid over the top of a cement-lined spring. He lifted the cover and gasped. Inside was the body of a dead rabbit that had somehow fallen into the water. We have no idea how long that carcass had been contaminating the water. Obviously long enough to really make someone sick.

We learned a valuable lesson that day. God cared enough to break into our world and urgently tell me, “Don’t drink the water.” ■

— Loraine Joy is a small business owner and Arbuckle resident. Contact Loraine at

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