We all get thirsty... especially when we’re doing yard work... or eating something salty. Being thirsty is so common, it’s something we can’t help relating to! We don’t even have to work at it. Young or old, man or woman... we all understand what it means to be thirsty! It’s one of those things in life that needs no explanation.
But there’s a significant difference between “being thirsty”, and “thirst.”
Being thirsty is a physical response to our need, or body’s need, for water! Without it our cells will die. It’s one of the essential elements that are required for life. And being thirsty is our natural, God given response to needing more water in our system
“Thirst” often implies more than simply being thirsty.
We thirst for all kinds of things in life... relationships, peace, joy, satisfaction, happiness. We thirst (as followers of Christ) for righteousness. Jesus even said, “Blessed are those who thirst for righteousness.” We thirst for God’s Word... for doing God’s Will. The people of God thirst for the things of God. For worship, for knowledge, for spiritual fulfillment.
For Christians, when we experience dryness in life... when negativity and envy... when dissatisfaction and a general sense of apathy set in... it’s because we’ve denied our thirst, in some way.
So when such feelings begin to percolate, it’s a clear sign, for believers... for followers of Christ... to pay attention to what our soul is trying to tell us.
It could be... that... we need to work on our prayer life. Prayer builds up our relationship with God. It re-centers us, helps us to re-focus - to keep our eyes fixed on Christ. Because when we take our eyes off of Jesus, we lose focus, and start to become overwhelmed (or sink).
Maybe we need to spend more time in worship... if worship is something you have to work into your schedule... you’ll never receive the power of worshiping in “spirit and in truth” IF worship is an “add on” in this life. Worship is the foundation of a life built on Christ. God’s Word says God “inhabits the praise of his people.” God himself fills us with his Spirit and his Truth when we worship. If we’re dry, we need more worship! Both corporate & private worship.
Maybe we need to open God’s Word and seek His Will for our lives... “But Jerry, if I knew God’s Will for my life I’d do it!” Move towards your thirst! God will not lead you into a life of dryness. Your thirst is the Holy Spirit’s way of leading you into the Will of God, if you’ll follow, and stop making excuses.
Maybe we need to work on our relationships... It’s clear the woman at the Well had relationship problems. Maybe that’s why we’re dry and lifeless at times. We don’t always value our relationships. We don’t always honor the necessity of relationships.
Maybe we’re lacking in love and forgiveness, and openness to the giftings and graces of others...
I don’t know what your trigger is... I can’t tell you what your dryness, your thirst is for. But I do know this: when we thirst spiritually, it’s an indication that we need Jesus. He knows us better than we know ourselves... he sees past the facade’ we offer the world - the various masks we try to hid behind - and sees our longings, our hearts, our true need. Just like with the woman in our scripture lessons today, Jesus sees the turmoil of our lives that leads to our thirst. He knows and sees the pain, the betrayal, and the heartache. And only Christ can offer us the living water we need to truly quench our thirst.
But it’s quite often that our discomfort and trials lead us to the water - they lead us to Christ, and to God’s Will.
Just last Sunday, Tom mentioned Paul... and this struggle with his “thorn in the flesh.” Paul believed in Christ... He was Christian when we wrote of his praying, time and time again, for God to deliver him from his ailment, his pain, his distress. But through Paul’s thirst for relief, and going to the deep well of faith, time and again... he found God’s Will. Paul’s “thorn” wasn’t removed. But God’s grace proved sufficient. And the living waters of Christ refreshed Paul’s soul time and again... as he remained faithful to living out God’s Will for his life.
Come to the well... the deep and eternally flowing well that springs up into eternal life. Come to Jesus. Give your concerns, your pains... your joys and hopes... to the only One who can bring real satisfaction and life.
I truly believe, with all my being, that if the church would end our reliance on self... on having our way... on our strength, our purpose, our selves... and relied wholly, and purposefully, on the one who offers living water, on Jesus... most of the problems and worries and heartaches of this life would simply no longer matter. They’d surely still be there - our thorn, our past - may always remain. But the grace we need to overcome... to quench our thirst... is abundantly available, if we but ask.