Scripture: John 7:37-53
Observation: On the final day of the Festival of Shelters, Jesus describes himself as “living water” – the one who will give life to anyone who comes to him through faith. As the crowd heard this, some of them were convinced that he was the Messiah while others continued to reject him.
Application: As an avid runner, I’ve run in just about every weather condition Mother Nature brings – sun, clouds, rain, snow, sleet. I once did a half marathon through the streets of DC in the pouring rain, and it was just about the worst two hours of my life. (This was pre-labor, so my pain scale was vastly different.) I spent 13 miles running around the city in a trashbag and wet socks, trying to convince myself that this was “fun.” Runners are weird people…
While I’m no fair-weather runner, there’s one condition I could live without: hot and humid. I’d rather run ten miles on a treadmill than run ten miles on a muggy August day where you’re sweating before you even take your first step. Those runs are a struggle from start to finish – and no matter how much you drink, you’re constantly thirsty (and ready to jump into an ice bath).
Life feels like hot and humid August days sometimes. It feels long and difficult and hard to breathe – and we’re just thirsty. We’re thirsty for affirmation, acceptance, recognition, desperate for something or someone to quench our thirst.
Jesus knew that. He recognized that unquenchable thirst within us to feel worthy, secure, accepted, enough. And he offered us a solution – Himself.
“’Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” (v.37-38)
This “living water” is His Spirit – living, moving, breathing inside of us, quenching our every desire, satisfying our every need to feel worthy, secure, accepted, enough.
Can you imagine stepping outside on the hottest day of the summer, lacing up your shoes for a long run, and never being thirsty – not even once?
That’s the power of the Holy Spirit, bringing life to our dead places. We’re never alone, never without, never wanting if our hearts are truly devoted to Jesus. We can go through the hardest seasons of our lives – break-ups, divorces, financial loss, life-threatening illnesses, addiction, depression, crippling insecurity – and yet we can prevail because all of our true desires have been satisfied through the life-giving power of Jesus.
Often it’s a daily battle of recognizing our thirst, what we want and long for, and offering it up to God. We must stand strong against the gravitational pull to seek satisfaction in relationships, possessions, degrees, status, success. We must read the Word of God, remind ourselves of who he is and who we are in him. We must ask ourselves the hard questions when we’re in seasons of wanting, of longing, of hopelessness: Am I looking to someone or something other than the God who made me to bring satisfaction, hope, life?
And when we are secretly hoping that there is another way, another path than the one laid out by our Father in heaven, we must repent, confess, and ask God to satisfy our desires in this moment, begging for our “daily bread” and knowing that he will show up again tomorrow.
So today, let’s offer our desires to him, claim his promise to satisfy us, and rest in the hope of the One who is more than enough.
Prayer: God, I offer all my desires up to you today, everything I want out of my marriage, my relationships, my job, my friendships, my life. I know none of them can ultimately satisfy me. Help me find the courage to take all the hope I place in them and instead place it in you. Amen.