What are you expecting for your life? What do you hope for? Read through Psalm 63 and you will find a man who is expecting and hoping for a lot. But more than that, the expectation is described as a very tangible experience; thirst. You know what I’m talking about. We all know this thirst; a desperate craving at the centre of our being that we can’t shake. The world is a buffet of comforts. Our souls are the most demanding appetites and nothing in that buffet will ever give us true satisfaction. That’s because our souls weren’t designed to be comforted by anything on Earth. Since the beginning of the time, there has only ever been one thing to match our emotional appetite; the unconditional, all encompassing, eternally available Love of God.
After walking for almost a day, Jesus sits at well in Samaria, striking up a conversation with a woman there. He makes this woman an offer that no one could have resisted. “…Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14) In this statement, Jesus did three things that I can identify right now. Bait was set to pique her interest. Opportunity is created to address a serious void in this woman’s soul. Most importantly, Jesus declared an eternal truth. Life is his to give and he gives it freely.
Like a master chess player, he sets up the pieces so that she can’t help but make the moves he wants her to make. Instead of this game ending in checkmate, it resulted in revival that swept through the woman’s town (John 4). When the woman asks for some of this miraculous water, Jesus instructed her to retrieve her husband. As it stood, she had been through 5 husbands and was with a sixth man then. For so long her soul craved something so drastically that she devoured the attention of men like a starving child at a fully prepared feast. Her need for Jesus’ living water was more desperate than she realized.
Our soul is our mind, will, and emotions. It is our personality and the reason why we feel anything internally. It needs to be fed just like our bodies need to be fed. When the soul is neglected, the starvation is just as painful and debilitating. What satisfies our soul is what comforts us. The trick is we tend to comfort ourselves with stuff that doesn’t last. What Jesus is highlighting to the woman at the well is the availability of a water for our thirsty souls. That brings more than just comfort, it breeds life.
Before Jesus time, God was speaking this through the prophets to a people who persistently turned to other gods in hopes of finding salvation that only Yahweh could give. Isaiah put it like this, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the water; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” (Isaiah 52:1) In Revelation the Lord is speaking to John and I like how the King James Version says it, “And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” (Revelation 21:6) Freely! Did you notice in John 4 how Jesus said that he would give his water of life to anyone who came to him. He rephrases this in another passage, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38) Anyone!
Look at that! Not only is our ravenous craving satisfied, but we will not be able to contain what our souls consume. The consumer becomes the consumed. Jesus’ life flows freely. Once we step in to take a drink, it’s tide commands our movement. The drenched man of our soul carries the weight of His life everywhere dripping love and invigoration with every step. It’s hard to ignore a soaked person walking down a street of perfectly dry citizens. Everything touched has a wet mark and anyone embraced cannot escape unscathed. We see this as well with the Samaritan woman.
She had finally found the life she was so desperate for and was satisfied because of her encounter with Jesus. She ran into her town raving about Him. When the rest of the people encountered Jesus for themselves, it says that “many believed.” This qualifies as revival. The river of life that this one woman first stepped into was not contained to her, but overflowed it’s banks and flood the entire town. I imagine some might have run from the advancing tide line, but those who let the waters wash over them found a life their souls never thought possible, but were always craving for.
Expect that God will keep his promise! If you come to Him, He will fill you. Everything you could hope for in a full life is surpassed in knowing Jesus. The river is constantly flowing fresh and the Creator has not rationed out its use. So why would you economize consumption of God’s love and life? Being with Him brings adventure in the midst of seemingly landlocked hope. The bad times are possible and the good times are better when lived in step with the Holy Spirit. Take Jesus at his word and let Him give your soul everything it truly desires in Him.