While on long runs or never-ending train rides, I have a habit of finding myself without water, realising I didn’t plan ahead, and feeling dry. If it goes on for long enough, I start to feel irritated, dizzy, and almost unable to think. In those moments, nothing can help until my thirst is quenched. If you offered me a rest or a piece of chocolate, it’s not going to help me! Once I finally get home, I let the stream of cold, pure water pour down my throat, and sometimes I can feel it land in my belly. Ahhh! There aren’t many better feelings of satisfaction and refreshment – I love it. It’s life giving! In my predicament, only one thing could’ve helped me. I needed to drink.
Thirst, dryness, desperation, and lack of fulfillment are plagues that cause us to do all sorts of strange things. Some blow their life savings on Ferraris or beach houses hoping to quench the thirst. Some flit from job to job, always hoping the grass is greener on the other side. Some leave their wives and children in search of ‘a newer model’. We have a thirst that needs to be quenched, but most of the time we’re trying to quench it with stuff that just won’t work! Sometimes we aren’t so obviously desperate. We think we’re doing it right, trying to quench our thirst with things that seem life giving, but often those things are like salt water – they only make us thirstier.
Jesus encountered a Samaritan woman while resting by a well, and said to her “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life”. In the natural, imagine never being thirsty again! Imagine having springs of water that rise up within you, continually quenching your thirst! In the spiritual, this is what He gives. The living water is the Holy Spirit poured out into our lives, continually bringing the refreshment of God. He comes bringing life, comfort, strength, joy and peace – all things that run out when coming from us, but never run out when coming from Him. Pause for a moment and think about how there is a river of life coming from the throne of God. He longs for it to flow in you.
Our source of living water isn’t just made for us either – we have to pour it out. In 2011 Rach and I visited a huge lake in Israel called the Dead Sea. Its surface is 430m below sea level, and it is 9.6 times saltier than the ocean, which means you don’t so much swim in it as just float. It also stings like crazy if you’ve got any cuts or grazes! It’s called the Dead Sea, logically, because nothing can survive in it – no fish, birds or plants. There’s a simple reason why it’s the way it is: it has inlets, but no outlets. Water pours into the Dead Sea from the Jordan River, bringing the mineral deposits from the surrounding areas, but these minerals have nowhere to go…they sit and make the lake unlivable. Similarly, as God pours out living water into our lives, we are to pour it back out on those around us. Like the Dead Sea, we need an outlet – the world is our outlet!
Are you trying to quench your thirst with things that run dry? Let the living water satisfy you. Eternally speaking, it’s the only thing that can!
Scriptures to check out: Psalm 46, John 4:1-26, John 7:37-41.