Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tuesday's with Jesus #74

#74 "What Are You Thirsty For?"
November 28, 2006
"..."Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst." (John 4: 13-14a)
She came to the well that day, just like she did every other day. We don't know her age or her name. But we do know a little of her history. With five failed marriages behind her, she was now living with another man and not married to him. Wonder what had happened to this woman in her past. Wonder what made her keep searching for fulfillment and purpose in men. Did her father die? Had he been alive but rejected her or mistreated her? Something made this woman want. Something was broken inside of her. Something kept making her search for the answer to her inner pain in all the wrong places. It doesn't really matter what it was. I don't think, consciously, that even she knew what it was. She was just empty and trying to fill the void..in her case, it was men. What is it for you?
When we seek contentment with physical things, we can never get enough. The Samaritan woman sought it in relationships. We do that too. We seek it in new toys and gadgets, possessions or power, health, wealth or notoriety. But Solomon tells us that all these things are vanity. Vain attempts to fill an empty space in our souls. It is commonly said that there is a God-shaped vacuum inside each one of us that only He can fill. If that is the case, and I believe it is, no amount of searching and seeking and trying to fill it with anything other than Christ will make the ache go away. 
I've been there myself and right now I am watching someone that I love deeply "looking for love in all the wrong places."  And truly, lest we judge, I didn't even know what I was doing at the time and neither does she. Neither did this Samaritan woman. We all just knew that something was missing. Something was broken. There was no sense of fulfillment or contentment...life was just lived with a dull ache inside ... an empty hole...a need...and trying to fill it up became a way of life. But the problem is that "it" is never enough. It's like a drug addiction...the more you use, the more you need. Frederick Douglass said, "Whenever my condition was improved, instead of its' increasing my contentment, it only increased my desire to be free, and set me to thinking of plans to gain my freedom." Anything earthly, relationships or material things, cannot satisfy. You will always want more...want FOR more. Relationships and things can fail...leaving you empty again. Empty and thirsty.
The Greek verb used in this passage for thirsty is "dipsao". It means to painfully feel the want of, and eagerly long for, those things by which the soul is refreshed, supported and strengthened.  The King James Dictionary defines "thirst" as having a vehement desire of anything. Jesus used this very word because He could see deep inside this woman's soul. He saw how serious this need was. He knew that she felt it painfully, intensely and deeply. He cut right to the chase to help her. He told her about living water...water that is alive. 
To the Jew, living water was water that was always flowing and moving along. It was a creek or a lake that had an inflow and an outflow. It was not the still water of a stagnant pond that was always sitting still. Jesus, Himself, was the Living Water. What she needed was a drink of Him. A continual inflow and outflow of His Holy Spirit, not the stagnant pond of earthly water that never satisfies. Stagnant water goes bad. It gets slimy and buggy. Living Water is clean and fresh...and it satisfies the thirst, the need, the ache deep down inside.
Are you thirsty today? Are you drinking the muddy contaminated waters of the world and destroying yourself? The waters the world offers cannot quench your thirst. Jesus says we should come to Him, and out of our bellies shall flow rivers of living water. Jesus Christ is able to meet our needs. And I must say that I'm not talking merely of just believing in Him. That will absolutely get you to Heaven, but don't you want more of the abundant life that He died to give you? The end to all of your searching? I'm talking "relationship" here. A walking, talking, breathing, enduring, close (like a branch to a vine) relationship with Him each and every day. He calls to you from Isaiah 55:1 and says, "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters." And in verse 2, He says, "Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?" What are you spending your time or money or energy on that will never satisfy? Only Jesus can satisfy your deepest longings. Jeremiah 2: 13 says, "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water."  Have you forsaken Him? Are you digging your own broken cistern?
In researching for this "Tuesday's", I came across these words that I will close with:  "Jesus is the One who makes life possible, who makes peace possible, and who makes joy possible. He makes it possible under all circumstances and in all places to possess everything the soul desires. If Christ lives within us, then we will be like a fortress that has in its courtyard a fountain, fed from some source high up in the mountains, and finds its way into the fortress by underground rivers that no one can ever touch. It does not matter who surrounds such a fortress, those who are inside can survive for years with abundant water. When people are deprived of a thing they ?want,? they generally get along pretty well without it; however, when it?s something they ?need,? or require, they suffer horribly in its absence. Just as a man thirsts for physical water, so also he thirsts for spiritual water. Only Jesus Christ can satisfy that thirst. He is The Living Water. He is the one who supplies the water. He paid for it with His life. Today take a drink by taking hold of Jesus and letting the fountain of God?s provision overflow in your life to the praise and glory of God. Amen!"
Blessings to you,
Donna Schultz
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