“Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never have to be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.” (John 4:15 NLT)
The woman at the well. Here is a story that most are familiar with. Scholars often say that it is because of her shame (from her past v. 17-18) that she came to get water during the hottest part of the day – most likely because nobody else would be there. Probably so she wouldn’t have to see anyone staring or hear anyone whispering. I don’t know – none us know for sure – I’m just imagining what it would be like.
I don’t have to imagine very hard though, because I have done things I was ashamed of – things I wanted to run and hide from. Things I wanted to avoid and not talk about.
I wonder if that is how the woman at the well was feeling, too.
Water is necessary for life – for survival. This woman was running in survival mode – doing what was necessary to survive, because she was too embarrassed to live.
Then, she met Jesus. And Jesus offered her a way out – and she wanted it. She thought accepting this Living Water would mean she would never have to come to the well again; she would never have to lug heavy jars or containers to transport water, and never again at the noon hour just to avoid others and the confrontation of her past. She wouldn’t have to work so hard to keep her sins hidden.
She wouldn’t have to work so hard to survive.
Maybe, just maybe, with this Living Water she could finally live.
Sometimes we seek You, Jesus, because we want an easy way out. But You never promised it would be easy – You only promised LIFE – life eternal (v. 14) and life abundantly (John 10:10). Most times, we want a solution that means we don’t have to work so hard anymore.
But on our own, we will always have to work hard.
That is why You invite us to partner with You (Matthew 11:28-30). You carry the weight of our sins (1 Peter 2:24), so that we don’t have to. So that we can be free. So we can live. This is the what our souls are thirsty for. We are thirsty for You. When we take You in, Jesus, the Living Water, it is like a fresh bubbling spring within us (v.14).
Constant. Rejuvenating. Life-giving.
This Living Water washes over our sins – our past and future – and cleanses us. This Living Water becomes our life source and we are alive and free.
Transformed. Made new.
We no longer feel the need to hide and cover up, because there is no longer shame to avoid. In fact, after drinking this Water in, the very things we were working so hard to keep hidden become the very things we tell others we’ve been freed from.
Funny how that works…
Once we taste Him, we no longer seek water to survive.
Instead, we seek Him to live.