By Patricia Knight
Within the hush of the forest, zealously guarded and protected by those apprised of its location, resides a quietly bubbling spring of water, purified through a naturally deep layer of fine oscillating sand. The water is inherently refined through layers of sand as it percolates from a destination below ground level. Camp owners in the vicinity have constructed a three-sided wooden hut that protects the spring from falling debris from the thickly surrounding forested area or contamination from rain water. The front of the rustic building is exposed, allowing access to dip the fresh gurgling water.
As I stand encompassed by a colorful canopy of rattling autumn foliage, I detect the subtle murmuring of the spring water as it regurgitates through deep layers of sifting sand, slowly overflowing and trickling into an adjoining brook. I’m mentally transported to the scene in Samaria where a local woman met Jesus at the town well during the noonday heat. She carried her large pots to fill for her family’s daily water supply when Jesus, parched after a long journey and resting at the well, asked her to dip a drink of water for Him. As they conversed, Jesus explained the gift of Living Water as a flowing, constantly replenished reservoir within Himself, as from a spring or a mountain stream that revives and refreshes life, not stagnant water like that from a cistern (John 4:10-11).
When the Samaritan woman asked Jesus where to procure living water, Jesus answered,
“‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water, welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14).
When Jesus spoke of water “welling up,” the phrase indicated vital energy, a robust action like leaping vigorously in response to celebrating an abundant life.
Little did the Samaritan woman suspect she would meet the Source of Living Water through whom those who partake spiritually never thirst again. She couldn’t quite grasp the concept until Jesus compared the pure, satisfying drink of water to the yearnings of the human soul, reversing temporary thirst to that source which produces eternal life. Jesus is that Source. One drop of Jesus’ Living Water on a longing heart improves the parched condition eternally. Once you’ve sipped the pure living water, Jesus explained, the contaminated tap water of life will no longer provide appeal.
In our lifetime, do we find the love of Jesus, His gift of abundant life, and His promise of eternal life as spiritually satisfying as a drink of spring water quenches our physical thirst?
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1). A deer, its hide frothing with sweat from a long, demanding run through the forest, perhaps racing to evade a predator, approaches familiar streams and pants in anticipation of gulps of pure mountain water. As our hearts pant for the healing powers of living waters, we are propelled to the Source—Jesus.
Like the deer of the forest, our faith responds by longing for God’s presence. Jesus is our hope as we enjoy His gift of life to the fullest on this earth and His enduring promise of eternity with Him in heaven. “Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure” (1 John 3:3).As the deer in crisis, we’ve had periods in our lives when the need for a drink was paramount, when we’ve felt parched, suffering from some level of dehydration. At such times, not only our mouth detects the need for hydration, but our hearts pant for the healing received from Living Water. We are propelled to the only pure Source, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Hope in Christ is not a mere wish,
but an unshakeable confidence in
our faithful God.
Those things for which we inwardly and outwardly yearn, those which completely amaze and satisfy, abide in the Source and Person of Living Water, cancelling our need of ever seeking their renewal again, as we gain replenishment, regeneration, reinvigoration. Hope in Christ is not a mere wish, but an unshakeable confidence in our faithful God.
If we thirst for pure drinking water to satisfy our physical thirst, how much more we desire Living Water to fulfill our spiritual lives? Our needs for life are found in Jesus, the giver of all blessings. He is our supreme and sovereign, perfect and pure, unending supply. He is the Bread of Life and the Spring of Living Water to sustain us; the Root of all strength to empower us, with all the gifts of eternal life poured out for man’s redemption. Let us call on God to supply each physical, emotional, and spiritual requirement. His qualities run infinitely deep. There is nothing more pure, more authentic, and immaculate than our Savior. Let us tap into His gifts, which He so willingly offers to us, as He did for the Samaritan woman at the well. Hope is gained when we turn toward God during times of stress and chaos. God delights in intimacy with us.
“Blessed is the man who trusts the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:8).
Unlike the clear, pure water that bubbles perpetually from the natural forest spring, Jesus is our Source of Living Water, able to quench our heart’s thirst permanently. There is no necessity for knowing the secret location or the need to walk a distance to obtain Living Water. Jesus is as close as our heart, urging us to call on Him always.