I am a runner. Not like a competitive fast runner but someone who just enjoys running. Over the last couple of years it has become something I really enjoy. It’s a stress relief and adrenaline rush. I sweat a lot while running, so I get very thirsty. I have found the one issue I have with running is that I never seem to drink enough water. I ran a half-marathon a couple of years ago. I met the goal I had set for myself and felt great after the race. However, over the course of the next week I had a hard time recovering. I was tired, my blood pressure was super low, and I had an ongoing headache. It turns out I was dehydrated! I had run the race on a beautiful cool day. I didn’t sweat a ton and I didn’t drink any water along the way. I had not trained with water during my longer runs either and my body was finally giving me the sign that it was thirsty! What a difference drinking water makes for the body. It is a necessity for our body to function properly and science has proven that there are tons of benefits of drinking an appropriate amount of water. The body is so satisfied when it has the proper amount of water. There is nothing like a glass of water when you are thirsty to meet your needs! Now I try to stay hydrated even when I don’t feel thirsty to ensure these side effects never happen again and because of this I feel much better on a regular basis.
Have you ever felt really thirsty for something? Have you ever felt like if just the right thing happened you would be truly satisfied and full of joy? Every season of life I have wasted so much time chasing things in hopes of contentment, in hopes of satisfying a thirst or longing or looking to fill a need by making all the wrong choices. In middle school I thought it would be the name brand clothes or the right big hairstyle (I went through middle school and high school in the 90’s!) that would bring me happiness. In high school I just knew a boyfriend would bring that joy or even if I was just a little more popular or outgoing. College brought about great friends and a closer relationship with God but I just knew I was supposed to get married as soon as I graduated, so I had to find that husband to fill that need. In my mid-twenties I ended up single (which was not part of my hopes and dreams at all) and suddenly I was back looking to attention from guys as a way to bring happiness. God brought me an amazing husband, 2 wonderful step-daughters and a son. Our home is just what we need and I am truly blessed but am I truly satisfied? Nope. Not when my thoughts are on the world. Not when I dwell on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook and see things that I don’t have. The problem is sometimes I look everywhere but to God to bring me that contentment or satisfaction. I can be so thirsty and when I look to worldly things my thirst is not being satisfied.
In the Bible there is a story in the book of John chapter 4 that is commonly called “The Woman at the Well.” Jesus was passing through a town called Samaria and was thirsty so he approached a well. One woman was there. This woman was all alone at the well which was very uncommon. Most women in that day visited the well in the cool of the morning together. This was kind of a social time. This woman however, visited on her own. Maybe this was because she was living a life that gave her a negative reputation and she was either not welcome to socialize with the other women of the area or she felt like too much of an outcast to try. We don’t have the details but for some reason she had been married 5 times and was at that present moment living with a man who was not her husband. This may be more of a normal thing in this world today but it was NOT at all normal back in this time period. Jesus asks for a drink of water and then tells this woman that she should have asked him for Living Water. This obviously confuses the woman at the well. Jesus goes on to tell her, “ Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” Basically Jesus is saying if you look to worldly things for contentment you may be filled for a short time but you will become dissatisfied quickly and want more. Just because I drink water after one run doesn’t mean I never have to drink water again. I still get thirsty, my body will eventually crave more. Just because I can fit in to a cute new outfit or have an awesome job doesn’t mean I will be full of joy forever. When you find your contentment in Jesus you will never want again. In another story in the book of John, Jesus once again invites people by saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.”
Jesus wants us, He INVITES us, to be filled up with him. Why is this so hard? I struggle on a daily basis with finding my joy, my satisfaction, and my contentment in Jesus and not in worldly things. How quickly our mind goes to things such as “I wish my house was bigger,” “If only my child wasn’t so stubborn,” or “I wish I looked like her.” Christ makes it simple. He is inviting us to be filled with Him. Today I am going to start replacing those thoughts with “it’s ok, because Jesus is all I need.” When we look to Jesus and focus on who he is and how much he loves us we can believe the promise that Jesus can satisfy the thirsty soul forever! Only he can do this!
Psalms 107:5,9-They were hungry and thirsty; their soul fainted within them. For he has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry souls he has filled with what is good.
Revelation 22:17-The Spirit and the bride say. “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.
Written by: Heather