I’ve been thinking a lot about water lately.
Sounds strange, I know. But, I’ve cut back on my caffeine intake a lot the last few months and earlier last week I made the mistake of drinking not only a very large cup of coffee for breakfast, but then a Venti Starbucks after lunch. That’s way over what my body has grown accustomed to as far as caffeinating drinks verses water. And trust me when I say that the “caffeine high” was much better than the crash that followed.
I also found myself borderline dehydrated because I replaced large amounts of my daily water intake with something else that wasn’t good for me.
I found it ironic that the next day the Bible Study I did for my Quiet time was about water.
Living water, that is.
Have you ever really thought about the story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well? No? Let me break it down for you. Jesus was coming into Samaria; his disciples were out getting food because, well obviously they were hungry what with all of the miracles they had been performing. This is significant first and foremost because Jesus was a Jew. And at that point in history the Jews and the Samaritans didn’t exactly get along very well. In fact, the Samaritans were thought to be dirty and unclean. So eating food purchased in Samaria would have been grounds for what us Southerner’s call back-fence gossip.
So here we have Jesus who has not only sent his disciples to purchase food from this city from people that everyone has deemed unclean, but he when he runs into a Samaritan woman at the well, he stops and speaks to her. You can imagine her surprise. In fact, she even questioned him, “Umm…you are aware that you’re a jew, right? And I’m a Samaritan? You really shouldn’t be talking to me. Don’t you know the rules?” (Obviously the translation here is my own, but you can read how it really went down in John 4.)
I have read this story in the Bible a million times. I’ve seen the felt board Sunday School lesson more times than I can count. And up until last week, I never really got it.
You see, our body is primarily made of water…75% to be exact. You can go much longer without food than you can water. When you don’t have enough water intake, your body begins to suffer. Google the side effects and symptoms of dehydration and you’ll see a relatively long (and unpleasant) list including dizziness, heart palpitations, confusion, fatigue (as if anyone needs another reason to be tired), headache, and irritability just to name a few. We can’t live without water. And though we can temporarily function, we don’t function as well. Plus…our body needs water to flush out the toxins that we take in and need to get rid of. Insufficient water intake causes weight gain and no one wants that.
There was a reason Jesus promised that He would quench our thirst for the rest of eternity if we would only accept the living water that he offered. Most people fail to realize that usually when they start feeling hungry, they aren’t hungry at all, but thirsty. But instead of filling up with water and making sure that they are hydrated, we have a habit of filling our bodies with things that it doesn’t need when we are thirsty (food, sugary drinks, candy, etc.).
We turn to things and people to fulfill a longing in our hearts that only God was ever meant to fulfill. We splurge on toys and gadgets
and goodies from Hobby Lobby and Target to complete us. We fall in and out of love, looking for “someone” or “the one” to make us feel good about ourselves. These things, just like those sugary drinks and yummy snacks we turn to when we are thirsty, taste so good and promise us fulfillment. And they do…for a while.
The newest gadget makes us feel great, until they next best thing comes out. The food fills us up, but only for a little while. The clothes we bought make us feel fabulous, until they go out of style or get run through the washer so many times that they fade. The person we turn to to give us love and make us feel desired and wanted, loses his or her luster when we see that they are just as human as we are.
There was only ever meant to be ONE thing that could fill that void in our lives. And that is Jesus Christ alone. There’s a reason that people call it the “God shaped hole in our hearts.” Because trying to fit anything else there, is like trying to force a puzzle piece into a space it isn’t meant to go. It might “almost” work or “look” like it goes there, but it will never be right.
It will never be complete.
Things and people were never meant to satisfy us. It’s only ever been Him.
The Living Water.
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but 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 4:13-14
After much prayer and thought and then more prayer, I’ve been humbled by the realization that the area that I am struggling with the most in my spiritual life is PRAYER. And, after reading some of your comments on Facebook and Instagram, I know that I am not alone. Starting on Monday, August 17, I’ll be starting a Book Club/in-depth Study of Prayer using the new book Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer.
We will be reading a Chapter per week (I don’t want to overwhelm anyone, as I know school is starting back super soon and I myself will be getting back to classes on August 24) and then I’ll be sharing a blog post each Friday based on the Chapter we’re working through.
This isn’t something that we can put off anymore ladies. Prayer is serious. It’s vital to our faith and our spirituality and our well-being. I’ve gone most of my life without having a real, serious prayer life and that’s got to change. If I don’t pray for and cover my family with prayer, no one else may.