Just as the light is welcome in deep darkness, so is the water welcome in the dryness of the desert. The clear, cool water Christ offers truly does end all thirst once I stop looking elsewhere for my thirst to be quenched. I try to light my way and quench my thirst, but the light and the waters of this world are temporary fixes for an eternal problem. My need for independence and my worker bee mentality have led to frustration as I’ve tried to do what only God is capable of doing.
John 4:7-14 describes Jesus at the well with the Samaritan woman.
There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
These scriptures offer a beautiful description of the difference between my ways and God’s ways. I continue to think of Him in my terms rather than grasping His true nature. He is not like me, and until I come to know that at the deepest level of my being, I cannot drink deeply of His living water and become “a well of water springing up to eternal life.” His quenching is not only complete, it also connects me to the Source of eternal life and love. It’s one thing to know about God and even to accept that Jesus is His Son, but it is quite another to connect deeply and allow His love to flow through my heart.
Like the well Jacob dug, Christ’s well required making a deep impact upon this world. The digging He did was far deeper than the best well on earth. I’m sure that the well upon which He sat was one of the finest around, but it could not compare with what He was offering. In the desert, the notion of never experiencing thirst again is a dream come true. In a world that is a dark desert without His love, it is the same. What Christ offers seems to good to be true, so many dismiss it as pie in the sky. Perhaps that is because it is simply pie in the sky for many Christians who do not reach down deeply into their own hearts to find the Source of love. Christ’s love is not for wading or splashing, it is for drinking deeply. That requires faith, and faith is the heart of the beautiful scriptures in John 4.
To never thirst again is a dream that can’t be for me. Or can it? The Samaritan woman knew she didn’t deserve the water being offered, and that is the first step to receiving it. Many guard the well of Christ and believe they have the right or maybe even the responsibility to make sure that folks like the Samaritan woman don’t taint the water. If we fret about who is drinking at the well or how they are drinking, we will miss the living water so graciously offered by Christ. We are all the woman at the well; we just don’t all know it.