The woman came to the well, as she most likely did every day, to get a supply of fresh water—and unexpectedly met the source of living water. Jesus—a man who knew the shady details of her past—and saw through her empty relationships to her real thirst. Jesus—the man who transformed her broken life in that one encounter and made her whole. Yes, give me some of that water so I will never be thirsty again.
In the book of Jeremiah, God explains the root problem of His people:
“My people have committed two sins: they have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” (Jeremiah 2:13)
Jeremiah later writes: “O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the Lord, the spring of living water.” (17:13)
But God’s people could choose to repent and return to the Lord, where they would find hope.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (17:7-8)
To have roots tapped in to the spring of living water. To have no worries in a year of drought. To have green leaves and fresh fruit, regardless of the weather. To trust deeply in the Lord—who brings both calamities and good things. To not turn away when what He does doesn’t make sense. Yes, I want my roots to have that never-ending supply of water. I don’t want to see my leaves wither and die.
Last Sunday afternoon Jordan and I took David and Daniel down to the Yellow River to play. We bought a set of plastic shovels and a bucket and pretended we were at the beach. We found a quiet spot by the riverside and set to work, digging a path that led to the river.
As we were uncovering rocks and piling them to the side, we happened to find an underground water source. How fun to see it bubble up and fill the hole we were digging. The water even seemed clean when it first appeared—unlike the polluted Yellow River water. Soon we had a a little “lake” supplied by this underground water source, as we made the hole bigger and bigger.
Our original plan was to take turns pouring buckets of river water into our dug-out path to see if it could reach the river. But that was only temporary, as the water kept running out. Like the water for the woman at the well—she had to keep coming back. Our underground water source kept our hole filled—just like the source of living water. The water that could quench real heart thirst and would not run out. The living water—that would keep trees green and fruit-bearing, even during an extended time of drought.
Yes, I want to drink that water. Keep me from trying in vain to fill up broken cisterns in my life that are unable to hold water.
Those broken cisterns of
trusting in man
depending on flesh for my strength
and turning my heart away from the Lord.
I don’t want to be a bush in the wastelands,
to not see prosperity when it comes,
to dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives
I want to know the spring of living water and to daily live in His presence.
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice. “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (John 7:37-38)
If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.