“Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (John 4:13-14, NLT)
These were the words of Jesus to the woman at the well in Samaria. He’s still speaking the same words to us today.
Although the conversation started with literal water from the well, I don’t think He was still talking about water here. In any case, we can apply His words to mean that He was referring to the things that we turn to for satisfaction, fullness and fulfillment. Those relationships, things and ideas that we sacrifice so much for and pay so heavily for, believing that they would satisfy us.
But obviously this dear Samaritan woman thought He was still talking to her about literal, drink-through-your-mouth water. That’s why Jesus directed the conversation to where her main issue was by asking her to go and call her husband. Otherwise, what did her husband have to do with their conversation?
In her case, she seemed to be looking for satisfaction, completion and fulfillment in her relationships with men. She married the first husband and it didn’t quite work out. Or maybe he passed on. Who knows? Anyway, soon she was on Husband Number Two. And then Number Three. And Four and Five. Finally, she decided that the institution of matrimony wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and ditched it, moving in with her current lover. Yes, even though she didn’t trust the idea of marriage any longer, she was still searching for completion in a relationship.
As long as we are here on earth, we will always carry within us the deep yearning for something bigger than what we can see around us. It’s a Jesus-shaped hole that can only be filled and completed by Jesus Himself. That desire and longing can only be filled by Jesus.
We cannot be too quick to judge Lady Samaria. We may not be moving from man to man or woman to woman, but it is likely that we are still looking to something other than God for our fulfillment or our satisfaction. This in its own way is idolatry. Because it means that we have replaced Almighty God with something else.
So, what is it for you? What do you turn to when you feel the depth of your loneliness or lack of fulfillment? Do you turn to your spouse? Do you do more good works and join yet another department or committee in church? Do you give more money to charity?
All of these things in and of themselves are great. The big question is why are you doing them? What role are they playing in your life?
It is great to enjoy the meaning that comes from having friendships, being married, raising children, having wealth, making impact, attaining potentials, and all that. But we cannot turn to them to make us complete and satisfied. Like the Lord Jesus said, we will certainly be thirsty again.
He calls to us through the Prophet Isaiah: Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me and eat what is good, and let your soul delight in abundance.
Let us turn to Jesus and deepen our walk with Him. Only He can fill and satisfy us like no other person or thing can.