Authored by Martha Dodd
Read: John 4:4-30, 39-42, John 7:37-39
“Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.” John 7:37-39
Next to my home is a field, and where our property ends, a public foot path begins and extends the length of the field. While foot traffic is usually light on the path, during stay-at-home orders, the path was more frequently travelled, as people were looking to get some exercise and fresh air.
One day back in January, as I headed out for a walk, I needed a break from the beaten path, so I started a new trail through the snow. I made my way through a thicket of trees to where I knew there was a stream. And the scene I discovered was remarkable! As the stream meandered along its way, the sound of the water trickling over the rocks in its path was so restorative. I stood on the bank of the stream, and wondered how I could have overlooked such beauty for so many years – not 500 feet from my front door.
On my next visit to the stream, I dressed warmly, took a lawn chair and stayed a little longer, observing things I hadn’t seen the first time. Some days later, I noticed something interesting. Others were finding their way to the stream along the trail, off the beaten path.
In John 4, we learn about Jesus’ encounter with a woman at a well. He recognized the thirst underlying everything in her life and made an astonishing offer – to place within her, a spring of water welling up to eternal life. Tim Keller puts it this way: “Jesus is saying ‘I have what every human soul longs for, and I will not just satisfy you with it, but I will change you so much on the inside, that your very heart and soul will be new. You will have a whole new purpose, a whole new joy, a whole new dynamic in your inner being.’”*
And we know she accepted Jesus’ offer because she left her water jar behind and went back into town to invite people to come and see Jesus…and they did…and many believed.
This magnificent promise of Living Water is for us too, that as we surrender our lives and quench our thirst in Jesus Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit, who flows like a mighty river, into and through us to thirsty people.
Thank You Lord, that Your Holy Spirit lives in me, a deposit guaranteeing my inheritance. (Ephesians 1:13-14) Thank You that Your “mercies are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23) and You are always ready to be for me, what I need today. I ask You to show me any areas in my life where I am looking to other things to quench my thirst. I pray that as people meet Jesus in me, their thirst will be awakened to seek You. And if I am not feeling very thirsty for You today, please increase my thirst. Amen!
*Tim Keller – Gospel in Life Podcast-Episode 539: The Gospel and the Outsider