A thought came to mind as I read the story of the woman at the well (John 4:1 – 15) this morning. For the past few months I have been trying to shed the excess weight I’ve been carrying around for far too long. One of the commitments I made was to cut back on soda and other sugary drinks and drink more water. Several times during this period, I’ve forgotten to carry a bottle of water with me thus leaving my mouth to feel as if it were stuffed with a wad of cotton balls for future use. Needless to say, my mouth was DRY and I craved a drink to satisfy my thirst. Have you ever experienced a thirst like this?
If you’re anything like me when this happens, you find it almost impossible to talk. While getting a drink of water might not be easy depending on where I am at any given point in my day (i.e. in the car, in a meeting, on a walk, etc.) my mind’s only focus is to satisfy my thirst.
In the story of the woman at the well, Jesus tells the woman that he can satisfy her with an eternal spring of living water. Can you imagine what’s going through the woman’s head at this point? She responds, “Give me this water so I will never have to thirst again or have to keep coming here to draw water.” She thought the water Jesus spoke of was like the water she had come to draw. But the water Jesus offered was far from that. Jesus offered the woman water that would satisfy her spiritual needs. He was offering her salvation, and the promise of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus used a physical function, a need for water, to parallel a spiritual function, eternal life. We can all understand the craving for food and water. But there is also a soul craving, a hunger and thirst for the things of God. Just like our physical bodies need nourishment every day, so do our souls. What would happen if we didn’t eat or drink anything for an extended period of time? We would eventually die. Therefore, it’s important to satisfy our physical craving with food and water.
Our soul cravings (our need for Jesus) work the same way. Before I came to know Christ, I tried to fill my soul craving with many worldly things…friends, relationships, alcohol etc. Nothing filled the craving. Once I experienced the saving grace and mercy of Christ, I craved to spend time with him and learn how I could be more like him. I craved a personal relationship with him. He in turn, filled me to overflowing with his love, joy, compassion and peace in the midst of some rather excruciating circumstances. Of course these things didn’t come right away. But I knew I could read his word or talk with him through prayer and find satisfaction.
Learning to be more like Christ is a journey. He reveals more of himself to me as I come to the well daily and drink from the eternal spring of life. What I mean by this is, just going to church on Sunday isn’t going to fill me to overflowing. It will leave me dry by mid-week. Just as we can’t live without food for an extended period of time, we can’t make through the things this world throws at us on a daily basis without Jesus.
Lord, fill me to overflowing on a daily basis from your eternal spring of life. I want to be well hydrated in you so that when I encounter the heat of the desert, I won’t fall flat on my face from heat exhaustion.
Related scripture: Psalm 42:1; Psalm 63:1; Isaiah 55:1; Revelation 22:1
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Stuart L. Tutt