Hydrating Your Soul
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6 (NASB)
Think of the last time you were really thirsty. Not wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-for-a-glass-of-water thirsty, but truly thirsty – parched. So thirsty your mouth and throat feel dry and raw. So thirsty that no matter how much you drink, you can’t quite get enough.
There’s a passage found only in the 4th chapter of John’s Gospel describing an encounter between Jesus and a woman near the town of Sychar in Samaria. John recounts that this meeting happens on a plot of land Jacob had given his son Joseph, where a water reservoir known as Jacob’s Well was located. This well, like most, was located outside the city and women would come twice a day to retrieve water.
Jesus stops at this well as he travels from Judea to Galilee, crossing into Samaria, an unheard-of action for a practicing Jew during that time, much less a rabbi. Jesus, however, breaks with long standing tradition and travels through Samaria.
At the well, he asks the woman to draw him a drink of water. Now, Jesus was fully capable of drawing water for himself. And he could have easily obtained water in the nearby city. Instead, he came to this well in this country at this time to meet this woman.
The woman Jesus met was Samaritan, a hated mixed race, a known adulterer living in sin, and was in a public place. She was thirsty and didn’t even realize it. The thirst she had was for something more than water – it was for grace.
Jesus offered the woman something she did not at first understand, a water which would quench any thirst, forever – living water. While the woman is focusing on physical thirst, and then on the differences between Samarian and Jewish worship when Jesus calls out her sin, he does not grow impatient with her. Instead, he returns the conversation to his identity and his message.
The woman at the well could never find forgiveness, nor could she witness to it, unless she had first surrendered to immorality and sin, worshipping pleasure as an idol in place of God. Like all of us, she had replaced God’s eternal grace with an endless pursuit of empty drinks from a well that would never quench her thirst.
There are three absolute truths we can learn about salvation from this encounter:
- Salvation comes only to those who recognize their desperate need for the spiritual life they do not have (Acts 2:38). Living water can only be obtained by those who recognize how spiritually thirsty they are!
- Salvation comes only to those who confess and repent of their sin and desire forgiveness (Romans 10:10). Before any of us can accept Jesus as our Savior, we must concede the full burden of our shortcomings.
- Salvation comes only to those who fully embrace Jesus as their Savior. For the absolute truth is that salvation is found in no one else (John 14:6, Acts 4:12).
The last few years have been a season of thirst for so many of us. Disease, financial hardship, broken relationships, moral decay corrupt political leaders … our souls are parched for relief in the same way David confessed in Psalm 63:1, crying out from the Desert of Judah: “God, You are my God; I shall be watching for You; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and exhausted land where there is no water.” We wonder if God is hearing our prayers.
Take comfort in this, friends. No matter the hardship, regardless of how far we may have walked from the narrow path, God is standing right beside the well of His salvation, beckoning us to come and drink, and quench our souls.
Are you thirsty?
May God continuously lead your path.