Well, here we are. It’s been a little while since I’ve written a blog, but the main reason is that I don’t write just to write. We Life Teen missionaries have so many opportunities throughout each day to grow and choose love. Since my 8-day silent retreat, I’ve been growing deeper and deeper in my relationship with Jesus. Not just deeper in my ‘belief’ or deeper in how many worship songs I’ve memorized. I mean I’ve grown deeper in my friendship with Him. Deeper in my desire to lead souls to Him. Deeper in my desire to spend time with Him, to allow Him into each aspect of my life, even those dark, tucked away places that I haven’t allowed Him into in a while.
I just finished reading and praying through the book “I Thirst”. It’s some of the most intense 103 pages out there. There’s a reflection in the book about the woman at the well. I have read that story several times but hadn’t really entered into it. Maybe you’re in that same boat, so I’d like to break it open for you today.
Jesus and the crew roll into town at about noon. Remember, they are in the desert, and this was probably the hottest part of the day. So Jesus sits down at the well. No one goes to the well at midday. See, going to the well was a big social event. You’d go with all your friends. Often times that would be the opportunity for women to socialize, talk about their lives, their husbands, their new shoes, and whatever else. Here comes the Samaritan woman, walking up to the well at midday to draw some water. Jesus says to her, “Give me a drink.” The woman is very surprised as Jesus is a Jew and Jews don’t share anything with Samaritans. “How can you, a Jew, ask me a Samaritan for a drink?” Jesus explains to her that if she knew who He was, she would have asked Him and He would have given her life giving water. What that revealed to me is that first of all, Jesus is not thirsty for water. When He asked her for a drink, He was actually thirsty for the woman’s soul. Her love, her heart. The heart He formed and knows so well. The heart that He Himself is the desire of. That’s what He is thirsty for. And He reveals that if we knew who He was, we would in turn ask Him for something to drink and He would give us living water. Certainly this great love Jesus has for us and the way He thirsts for us calls us to respond. If we understood who He is, we would beg Him for the life giving water, the gift of Himself, beautifully intertwined into every corner of our lives. There’s nothing we’d keep from His loving hands.
He’s waiting at your well. Where are the places you go to be filled up? Where do you go for joy, renewal, satisfaction? It’s not always an inherently bad thing, like lustful relationships or abusing drugs and alcohol. Sometimes it’s something as simple as coffee or your favorite musical artists. But if it’s true that Jesus is all that will ever satisfy us, why would we go anywhere else? The truth is, we do go other places. Often times when I’m frustrated, tired, or need some ‘healing time’, I’ll find a quiet place and listen to John Mayer. And if we are being really honest here, John Mayer’s music doesn’t always help me deal with my problems. Most of the time, it helps me forget them and ‘escape’. I’m not saying your favorite musician is bad. What I am saying is that we are often thirsty in a way that a cup of cold water can’t fix. When your body is thirsty, you don’t go eat bread, or go stare at a fish tank. You know to go to the fridge and get some water. What about a thirst much deeper than that? What about when our souls are thirsty? Do we waste time with other things or do we seek out the life giving and eternal water that only Jesus Christ can offer?
Brothers and sisters, I am not trying to call you out and realize how often you try to be fulfilled by the world to make you feel bad about yourselves. I am sharing this with you simply because I have found myself in these positions so often. The Samaritan woman had remarried several times. She was constantly looking for love and had 5 husbands. The rest of the community had shunned her and probably called her every name in the book. She knew she certainly wasn’t welcome to go to the well with the other women, which is why she was there at noon, so no one else would be around. Jesus’ love stops at nothing. In our shame, on our desperation, in our desire for satisfaction, He is there. Jesus is the desire of every heart. He allowed the woman at the well to see that she would never be satisfied by the things of the world. So let us pray for the grace to turn to Jesus in every trial, every moment of desperation, every time we thirst. Let us know that Jesus intimately desires and thirsts for our love. Let us know that each time we go to a well of worldly water to be satisfied, Jesus is there waiting for us, letting us know He is all that we long for, all we want, all we need.