I am one of those people…you know the ones…that do not like to drink water…and I never have. Unless it is extremely cold, I can’t seem to get it down without it making me feel “sick.” However, every once in a while, I will experience extreme thirst. And although I have water nearby, I will drink anything else first (tea, soda, juice, milk) to try to quench my thirst. I have even waited for hours to go to the store to purchase something…anything…other than water to drink. And yet, when I finally get something, I am still left thirsty. It did very little, if anything, to alleviate my thirst. I have learned in those moments that the only thing that can satiate this thirst is a big glass of water (with a little lemon for me); and sometimes it takes more than one glass to completely quench my thirst..
This reminds me of the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well (John 4:7-30). She was only inches from the water but miles from the well. What do I mean by this? Once Jesus approached her, she was with the only one who could satisfy her every need. The only one who could give her life, yet through her debate, you see that her heart was far from the life-giver. She was so close, yet so far away. Because of what was revealed about her life in the scriptures, it is evident that she was trying to use everything else to quench a thirst that only Jesus could satisfy. So, until she took a drink of the living water, she didn’t know what she had been truly thirsting for.
Now, here’s the thing. Before you judge me or her, please check yourself. Do you sometimes know what it is that you need but are using substitutes to try and satisfy it because you don’t like the thing that could really help you? How about when you know you need to go on a complete fast but you just “modify” your diet instead (i.e. fast certain foods or for a certain period of time, maybe you fast from TV or Facebook for awhile…)? Or how about when you know you need to read your Bible but you read other “spiritual” books instead. Or when you know YOU need to pray but you op in a prayer CD and listen to someone else pray instead.
Listen, all of these things are close, but not close enough. You will still be inches from the water but miles from the well! Just like with all of the substitutes I use instead of water, you will still be left “thirsty.” And just like the woman at the well, unless you take a big drink of Jesus’ living water, you will be constantly carrying around your water pots, trying to keep them filled with things that can’t satisfy. So now, go ahead, take a big gulp of Jesus’ water and leave your water pots behind! You will never thirst again!
Keeping it simple, Keeping it real!