Our home here in North Carolina is located in Harnett County almost exactly 2 miles from the nearest town of Fuquay-Varina. As the dash in the name indicates, the city is made up of two separate towns that combined to form one municipality in 1963. Fuquay Springs, first known as “Piney Woods” was settled by William Fuquay, a French veteran of the Revolutionary War when he purchased 1000 acres from one of the original land grant families.
While plowing the fields of the family tobacco farm in the mid-1850’s, William’s great-great grandson Stephen discovered a mineral spring. After a while Stephen came to the conclusion that the water flowing from the springs had healing properties. Word of the springs began to spread and in 1860 Stephen sold the springs to a group of local investors to market the attraction and its waters. The Fuquay Mineral Springs grew in popularity throughout the rest of the 1800s and into the early 1900’s.
The neighboring town of Varina came into existence when a young Confederate soldier, born just south of the springs who, having received moral boosting letters from a pen-pal named Varina during the “War for Southern independence,” returned home. On the way he looked up his pen-pal in Fayetteville, North Carolina, married her and returned to his family homestead. He eventually named his post office and mercantile business located across from the springs after his wife. When two timber rail lines crossed nearby, "Varina Station" was born.*
I thought it interesting as I continued to study Psalm 98:1 this morning that the beginnings of our new community was established around the healing properties of natural mineral waters discovered in the area. So, it seems that our locale’s history and Psalm 98:1 both have that in common! Psalm 98:1 encourages us by saying, “O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.” (KJV)
The interesting connection comes with the Hebrew and Greek definition of the word translated into English as “Victory.” Brown-Driver-Briggs describes the Hebrew word as meaning “to save, be saved, delivered.” The Greek word translated from the original Hebrew is our old friend “sozo” which is used throughout the New Testament to describe what Jesus provided for us through His finished work. According to Thayer’s it means “to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health” Strong’s says it infers, “to save, that is, deliver or protect (literally or figuratively): - heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.”
The vast majority of my many Biblical commentaries agree that Psalm 98:1 is a direct prophecy of Jesus. Therefore, we can understand this verse as an encouragement for all Christians to spend time fellowshipping with Him in His Word in order to receive a fresh dose of His healing powers for the physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, and financial areas of our lives.
So just as the people from all over the Raleigh, Durham and neighboring communities flocked to the natural springs at Fuquay Springs at the turn of the century to receive the healing properties inherent in the waters there, we can save the ticket price of a train journey, or dusty carriage ride and just go into our quiet place with God each and every day and receive His healing properties that are inherent in His Word!
I’m sure by now that you must get the idea that Piper and I have always been Word people. We very much believe in the tangible Spirit and life that is in the Word of God as found in our Bibles. When Jesus says “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life,” (John 6:63 KJV) we take Him at His Word… no questions asked! We simply believe it, confess it and then take actions corresponding to what He says.
That is the way that we enter into fellowship with Him every day! We come into His presence expecting God to be God and to do what He says He will do! I noticed this morning as I was speaking out some Word while I bent over to lift Piper out of her transport chair and into her custom wheelchair, that something inside of me jumped when I spoke it! When it happened, I had to stop in mid-step, look at Piper and say “WOW!” Then I explained my happy reaction to her. If she could of, I am sure that she would have jumped up and shouted Amen! Is that the kind of reaction you get when you spend time with Him? I hope so!
It was reported that after visitors spent time in the water at Fuquay Springs that they felt different, refreshed and maybe a bit healthier than before. That is exactly the way that I expect to feel every time I step into the healing, revitalizing Word of God. How about you?
Have a great rest of the week, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “What are you expecting when you spend time with God in His Word?”
*See: http://www.fuquay-varina.org/423/History-of-Fuquay-Varina for more details.