Monday, November 9, 2009

I'll Have Water, Thanks

Normally when I go to a restaurant I have a battle with myself over whether I'm going to order a Diet Coke or a glass of water. I love a good fountain soda and it doesn't faze me at all that it's diet. I'm so used to it by now that Coke tastes too sweet. I know water is free and it's better for me, but still...

This morning my Bible reading was from John 4 where Jesus encounters the Samaritan woman at the well. He doesn't have to decide between Diet Coke or water; He just immediately asks this woman to give him some water. Tired from His journey and waiting for his disciples to bring Him something to eat, Jesus knows that nothings satisfies like good fresh water. So He asks for some.

Of course the woman is startled that Jesus is even talking to her and says as much to Him. But Jesus' response is even more surprising than His first request.

"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."

Did this woman know what "living water" was? I don't know, but it seems odd to me that she glosses right over this part of his offer and instead gets all hung up on the fact that He doesn't have anything to draw the water with. Who cares? What I'd want to know is what is this living water?

Living water. When I put those two words together, here's what I come up with. Tell me if you agree. I get fresh, clean, good-tasting water that isn't stagnant and never has been. It's moving water, like in a bubbling fountain. And it's just the right temperature - pleasantly cool, but not so cold that it hurts your teeth - heaven's no, it's not that cold! It's just right. And it's shiny because the sun is dancing off of it. That's how I picture living water. You wouldn't even have to add a lemon to it (that's what I generally do at restaurants so that it tastes a little fresher!).

And what promise did Jesus make concerning this living water? In verse 13 of Chapter 4 he tells her, "Everyone who drinks of this water (meaning the water in the well) shall thirst again." But He goes on to say of His living water, "but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life." Wow....

Folks, I want me some living water, the kind that satisfies completely, the kind that doesn't leave you thirsty for anything else, the kind that even bubbles over in your life so that other people around you can get a swig and taste it for themselves. Then they get satisfied and have their own well springing up in them and so on and so on and so on....

You know, we want for so much and we partake of so much in order to feed our wants. In other words, we get thirsty and we drink Diet Cokes and orange juice and milk and Koo-laid and sweet tea ('cause I'm from Georgia) and hot chocolate. And all that is good and satisfies for a little while. But nothing satisfies like good 'ol water! Just ask someone who's been hiking in the mountains or working in the fields or roofing a house. Nothing satisfies like water - good, clean, fresh, cool water.

Now you know I'm not talking just about physical thirsts beverages, and Jesus wasn't either. We're talking soul thirsts and soul quenchers. The stuff we long for, crave, desire. Love, support, friendship, significance, attention, security, peace, rest...... The stuff that really matters. That's what Jesus was talking about.

Regardless of what we're craving, Jesus offers us a plentiful supply of the very best, the most filling, the most satisfying. But we're so accustomed to our "sweet drinks," we're not thirsty for what He has to offer.

Jeremiah 2:13 says, "For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water."

Are you trying to fill up some broken cisterns? Are you substituting the "real thing" with sugary substitutes? I know I have. But today, I have a hankering for some good fresh water and I'm going to drink it in. And don't worry; there's plenty to go around. It's bubbling up!

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