“Blessed [joyful, nourishing by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied” (Matthew 5:6, AMP).
The scorching, hot rays beat down on her face. She walked along the dirt path stopping every few minutes for cool, dark shade. The sun seemed brighter, warmer than most mid-day afternoons.
Finding a patch of shadow beneath a tree, the woman stepped out from below the sunshine into the lukewarm canopy. Just a moments rest before she carried her heavy bucket of water, the woman leaned against the rough bark. Although sticky and hot, the heat of the day was far better than the vicious mouths in the cool of the evening. As if the others had nothing better to talk about than her.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. One more minute – just one more minute, she sighed. Stepping out from underneath the dark shade, the woman carried her wooden bucket to the well. She was thirsty and tired. Fresh, clean water was what her heart desired. Dry and empty, her heavy, coarse vase was held in a lonely hand, holding an isolated heart, and walking in secluded remoteness.
“He left Judea and returned again to Galilee. Now, He had to go through Samaria. So He arrived at a Samaritan town called Sychar, near the tract of land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, tired as He was from His journey, sat down by the well. It was then about the sixth hour (noon).
Then a woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give Me a drink’ — for His disciples had gone off into the city to buy food—. The Samaritan woman asked Him, ‘How is it that you, being a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?’ (For Jews have nothing to do with Samaritans.)
Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew [about] God’s gift [of eternal life], and who it is who says, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him [instead], and He would have given you living water (eternal life).’
She said to Him, ‘Sir, you have nothing to draw with [no bucket and rope] and the well is deep. Where then do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and who used to drink from it himself, and his sons and his cattle also?’
Jesus answered her, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water that I give him will never be thirsty again. But the water that I give him will become in him a spring of water [satisfying his thirst for God] welling up [continually flowing, bubbling within him] to eternal life.’
The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I will not get thirsty nor [have to continually] come all the way here to draw.’
At this, Jesus said, ‘Go, call your husband and come back.’
The woman answered, ‘I do not have a husband.’
Jesus said to her, ‘You have correctly said, “I do not have a husband”; for you have had five husbands, and the man you are now living with is not your husband. You have said this truthfully.’
The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews say that the place where one ought to worship is in Jerusalem [at the temple].’
Jesus replied, ‘Woman, believe me, a time is coming [when God’s kingdom comes] when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You [Samaritans] do not know what you worship; we [Jews] do know what we worship, for salvation is from the Jews. But a time is coming and is already here when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit [from the heart, the inner self] and in truth; for the Father seeks such people to be His worshipers. God is spirit [the Source of life, yet invisible to mankind], and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’
The woman said to Him, ‘I know the Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ—the Anointed); when that one comes, He will tell us everything [we need to know].’
Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you, am He (the Messiah)’ ” (John 4:7-26).
For there is hope for a tree if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the shoots of it will not cease nor fail. Though its roots grow old in the earth and its stump dies in the dry soil, yet at the scent of water [the stump of the tree] will flourish and bring forth sprigs and shoots like a seedling” (Job 14:7-9).
This is one of my favorite Scriptures in the Bible. Life can cut us down. We can feel like this dry, old stump in the ground with no hope of a future – just sun scorching our lumpy, dirty bark. Our hearts may thirst for something better, someone who understands us, or something to satisfy a void in our spirits. I can tell you my friend, the only one to satisfy any of your thirst is Jesus Christ.
The woman at the well is broken. She is alone. She is thirsty and desires water. A cool refreshing liquid to satisfy a moment’s pleasure, the woman’s life changes with one encounter with Jesus. God opens her heart to receive His precious spirit and on her testimony, many in her village were saved (John 4:42).
Her heart hungered and desired truth. Her thirst for righteousness transformed her spirit and her village. “Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness long to live righteously, and for righteousness to prevail in the world. It is a passionate desire – which begins with one’s own life – that all things should be in line with God’s will.
The desire to live in compliance with God’s will is expansive. It includes the sense of a need of God – a desire to be like Him. The one who hungers and thirsts want the character of the kingdom. He pants after the fruit of the Spirit. He wants God’s will and all it entails.”1 “O God, you are my God; with deepest longing I will seek you. My soul [my life, my very self] thirsts for you, my flesh longs and sighs for you, in a dry and weary land where this is no water” (Psalm 63:1).
A dry spirit searches. The spirit is persistent, parched and panting, its relentless search will not cease until water is found. The old stump is cracked and riddled with despair – this is how our spirit may feel hungrily searching for righteousness. Desperate for water, our heart will always end its quest at the feet of Jesus Christ.
Water is life. Living creatures need water to survive. Humans may last weeks without food, but we will last only days without water. Apart of Christ, even for just a little while, our spirits will seek living water – bubbling up within through the Holy Spirit. It is how Christians survive. It is how our spirits mature. Living water offered by Christ’s precious hand is a believer’s lifeline.
Where does the thirst come from? When and how did I become so dry? It is usually a slow drift. Like a broken branch cut from it’s tree, the lifeless vine drifts down stream. The branch has no compass, no direction; it just allows the water to take it where it wants. Although surrounded and engulfed in life-giving liquid, the branch is dead. It will not sprout – it has no roots. At some point, after drifting aimlessly in shallow water, the branch will be washed ashore and dried by the sun’s rays. It will wither and decay, cut from its tree.
Slowly we fade. We drift away from church, spending less time in God’s Word, and less time communicating with Him. Like the woman who walked during the heat of the day, His sun penetrates the earth offering vital rays to the living. The heat singes her delicate skin driving her to seek shade. A few moments of cool cover and she is satisfied, but once again, she must venture out into the open light to seek her water. As the sun’s rays blanket the earth with light, the Lord’s Son radiates light seeking dry spirits. His bright presence is undeniable, but many choose a few moments in secluded shade. A few moments more pleasure in the cool canopy of darkness, and then the dry soul continues his/her walk in a desiccated existence squinting from God’s bright light. Their spirits are withered and shrunken. The need for water will eventually draw them closer to Christ.
As you draw closer to Christ, I would encourage you to saturate your life, words, and attitude with Him. Your identity should not be wrapped up in past mistakes and wrong decisions. Once our Lord reveals – as He did with the woman at the well – wrong behavior and beliefs, we are to adjust our behavior and follow Him. Jesus questioned her heart. The woman searched for love, could have been abandoned for lack of pregnancies, used men for her pleasure, or married for monetary gain. Whatever the reason she had subjected herself to multiple marriages and desires, Christ touched a very sensitive subject for her. The marriage vows must have seemed insignificant after the first five marriages – now she succumbed to ungodly living; used to the gossiping and malicious mouths of the other women, the woman at the well identified herself with loneliness. She had become so use to rejection, so use to her defilement, so used to abandonment, the woman carried – not only her bucket for water – but also an empty heart. She slowly drifted into despair.
Her loneliness and rejection barely noticed the Messiah at the well. Did you notice there were no pleasantries: no good afternoon, no how are you, or do you need water? The woman – living a depressing existence – exuded unhappiness. Unlike Rebecca, from Old Testament Scripture, when noticing a stranger at the well, offered water to drink. Sweet Rebecca also offered water to the animals that accompanied the foreigner. Our woman at the well – with Jesus Christ as the stranger – hardly looked up from her task. Miserable and dejected, the woman would have missed a life-changing opportunity had our Lord not spoken to her. Our Savior’s arms are always open to those in need, whether they receive Him or not. Jesus of Nazareth saw her need, desired she repent, and be used for a purpose. Remember, on her testimony many in her village believed.
If your heart is shriveled and bleak, then I would encourage you to seek the Living God. I pray you desire a thirst and hunger for righteousness only bestowed from heaven. Jesus of Nazareth never turned a soul away who desired to know truth. Our spirits were made to commune with God. It is our slow drift in calm waters, which begin to churn and slosh driving us back into His arms. Whether you are a new believer or a dry Christian, my prayer is you’re a seeking His living water, which revives and refreshes, fills and satisfies a thirsty soul. May the Lord’s precious hand pull and draw you closer to Him giving you living water to quench your thirst.