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GOD & TEXAS: Texas Water

“It was so dry in Texas that the birds built their nests out of barbed wire!”

While that declaration is untrue, it does present a humorous view of summertime in Texas. Droughts are common in the Lone Star State and praying for rain is not unusual.

Settlers who came to Texas in the 1830s quickly realized what the pre-historic inhabitants of our region already knew. Archeologists digging in Denton County did radiocarbon analysis of the remains of populaces over 37,000 years ago, and determined that spears and other crude artifacts were mainly found near water!

Word spread quickly. If you wish to survive in Texas, be sure that you settle near a lake, stream, spring, or river. In fact, many battles between the settlers and the Indians, and even among the settlers themselves, were over access to water. Having a natural spring on your property was better than gold.

The Camino Real, or King’s Highway, was the main road from Louisiana through Texas and into Mexico. This historic route paused at 13 major Texas springs and many minor ones. Some settlers made these springs their permanent home. At one time, over 200 towns were named for the springs upon which their community was established.

Two of the largest, and most historical springs in Texas are Comal Springs in New Braunfels, and Barton Springs, near Austin. Not only do these springs continue to supply drinking water for millions of residents, they provide recreational sites for boating, swimming, and fishing.

But the real treasure of the Texas Hill Country is Jacob’s Well in Hays County. It is located near the quaint town of Wimberly and serves as the headwaters of Cypress Creek. Though this natural spring was probably known to earlier dwellers, it was William C. Winters who “discovered” it around 1850, and is said to have exclaimed, “it is like unto a well in Bible times!”

Winters then named the spring “Jacob’s Well,” referring to the Biblical well found in the Gospel of John. Jesus met a Samaritan woman at the well and they began to discuss the topic of water. The well was located near the city of Shechem, and tradition said that it was the well that the Old Testament character Jacob dug for his family (Genesis 33).

Jesus contrasted the water in Jacob’s Well to the “living water” of eternal life that He offered to her. He said that she would thirst again after drinking this natural water, but the water He would give her “would become a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life!” (John 4:14 NKJV)

William C. Winters was wounded in the knee during the Battle of San Jacinto and was a true Texas hero. But he was also a true Christian who left behind the testimony of Jacob’s Well. May all generations wonder about the name, and drink the “living water” that Christ provides.

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