Day 6 John 4:1-30
She was a social pariah. Her reputation preceded her wherever she went. The other women of the village would make their trek to the well at a time that assured them that she wouldn’t be there – and to be honest, she liked it that way. She did not want to endure their whispers and stares.
When she arrived at the well, she was surprised to see a man sitting there, especially a Jewish man. The only ones who would look down on her more than the other villagers would be a Jew. They had no use for Samaritans, least of all Samaritan women. Her amazement at the odd conversation that followed between them rivaled her fear of further persecution.
Jesus was a master at turning a tale and using common things to make an uncommon point. His use of water from the well to reach deep into the woman’s heart was one more example of this. The Samaritan woman had led a disreputable life, looking for fulfillment in ways that left her friendless and empty. Her thirst for completion opened the door for Jesus to offer her everything she desired.
He said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The truth of His words rang in her heart and echoed in the emptiness. She didn’t know why, but she wanted what He offered. The hope of finally being filled was overwhelming. The other men she had turned to had offered more than they could deliver and each left her in worse shape than before. But this man was different. She didn’t know how, but she knew. What he offered was not the typical empty promises. What he offered was more than a temporary fix. What he offered was what that emptiness inside of her cried out for and so she was further drawn to Him.
Jesus’ enticing words echo equally loud in all hearts. We may not have followed a similar path as the Samaritan woman, but each of us has a desire for fulfillment. There is a thirst to be complete, never alone and spiritually whole. We may not be able to verbalize why, but our souls recognize Truth when we hear it – and Jesus is more than a fountain of truth, He is Truth!
Kyle Idleman’s astute observation concerning our “consumer based economy” explains why so many live unfulfilling lives. He writes
“The presumption of emptiness is the fuel that runs a consumer-based economy. In consumerism, we (of course) buy into the concepts that our personal sense of fulfillment is directly related to our ever-increasing consumption of goods. A simpler way of saying it: if I feel a little down, I need to consume a little more. Late at night, when I lie in bed and feel emptiness, that’s just life telling me that someone somewhere has this new thing that I don’t yet have. Life is a cycle of ceaseless upgrading of inventory.” [Kyle Idleman, The End of Me, (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2015), 121]
Living in such a world, we are promised fulfillment in so many things. Yet nothing lasts. As Idleman puts it, “Late at night, when I lie in bed and feel emptiness, that’s just life telling me that someone somewhere has this new thing that I don’t yet have.”
There is truth in that yearning. But it is not the “stuff” of this world that will fill our emptiness. The “someone somewhere” who offers the fulfillment we desire is the very One who created us with that desire. Jesus is that Someone but what He offers is not new. It is eternal.
If you begin to feel empty, look to Jesus. When life seems unfulfilling, drink from the Fountain of Life. When you feel rejected like the woman at the well, turn to the One who offers living water. Abide in the presence and passion of Christ, and you will no longer hunger or thirst for more.
Take a moment right now and thank Him for meeting you where you are and offering you your heart’s greatest desire. Pause and receive Him now.