What Do You Thirst For?
On a sweltering summer day, we dragged our kids to a park for a family baseball game. Parents versus kids. A summer classic to be remembered. It didn’t take long for the old folks to twist ankles and tweak muscles. We persevered. We sweated. We thirsted. Did I mention it was really, really, hot?
Ironically, it was the fittest among us – one of our sons – who ended up with heatstroke. He was so caught up in the game that he didn’t replenish, and it left him in rough shape. We drove quickly for fluids, and he downed two electrolyte-laden sports drinks in short order. The result of the game suddenly became secondary to what his body craved.
What do you thirst for?
Jesus talked about thirst. His conversation with the Samaritan woman in Sychar is built around it. Seated by a well, Jesus presses the troubled woman longing for more from life: “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:10) She is stunned that Jesus knows her real, deeper thirst and presents himself as the answer.
At the great Jewish Feast of Booths, when vessels of water were poured out representing the giving of the Law and a hopeful sign of the promised outpouring of the Spirit of God, Jesus declared, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:37-39). Jesus centers the deepest thirst of the Jewish nation in himself.
To the Samaritan is the promise that the Gentile thirst will be quenched. To the Jews, who were to be ambassadors of hope for the nations (Isaiah 2:1-5), it is the satisfying of this internal, deep thirst that will produce living water for a thirsty world.
To be an ambassador of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18-20) requires a thirst for true life. We are gifted the ministry of reconciliation in a world riddled with pain, division, emptiness and conflict. It’s hot out there! What is quenching your thirst? Are you aware of how thirsty you must be?
We are gifted the ministry of reconciliation in a world riddled with pain, division, emptiness and conflict.
The Only Way To Satisfy Your Thirst
Jesus’ interaction in Sychar and Jerusalem clearly outlines how we access this living water: we need to admit our thirst, and we need to come to him. The ambassadorial call we have is immense; if we don’t admit our thirst and keep coming to him, the heat will overwhelm and bake us.
If we don’t admit our thirst and keep coming to him, the heat will overwhelm and bake us.
Slow down and consider your deepest thirst. Are you aware of your calling and context? Are you aware of the heat? Are you just pressing on, trusting your own fitness, or are you admitting your thirst? Are you coming to Jesus regularly, seeking his word of life and the filling of the Holy Spirit? Without this thirst for true life, you will wilt.
Do the work of the Samaritan: assess your life and admit your thirst. What list of things is depleting and running you dry?
Do the work of the Jews in Jerusalem: discipline yourself to come with your thirst to the place where it can be met. What practices of coming to Jesus must you regularly practice so that living water flows from you to the world in which you are an ambassador of Christ, the living water?