Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. John 4:13-14
In the disastrous consequences of my addiction, I found my professional future in jeopardy. It took months to get back to work and even when I did, my days were filled with uncertainties. There were frequent hurdles, any of which could have ended my career. It was in this time of tremendous anxiety that I truly learned to go to God every day to find my life, hope, and joy. I discovered that true peace couldn’t be found in financial stability, because, at the time, I had no control over that.
Fast forward a few years, and I’ve now got a fantastic job with a steady paycheck. In my comfort, I seem to have drifted back to relying on my self-made security. This flaw has been painfully exposed over the last couple of weeks as the Covid-19 pandemic has consumed the landscape, changing all our lives.
If nothing else, the virus has reminded me that I’m not in control. All the things I’ve once again become dependent on for peace, have proven to be unstable. In this environment, I’m reminded of the anxiety I felt five years ago, and I’m reminded of where I must daily find my center.
In today’s passage, Jesus met a woman at the local well, which led to a discussion on water and thirst. Jesus told her that physical water satisfies temporarily, but that he was the living water, which satisfies permanently. He told the woman her own story, of her adulterous, promiscuous lifestyle. Jesus could see that she sought satisfaction in her self-destructive relationships with men, but still, she was unfulfilled. He told her that the answer to her life’s needs was found in him. Only in him, could she find true life, joy, satisfaction, and peace.
Her story is our story. We all look for meaning and life in things that cannot possibly satisfy. We seek in money, career, status, sex, drugs, or relationships. Not all of these things are evil in themselves, but none of them can truly meet our deepest needs. As they fail us, we become anxious and unhappy. Only in God can we find the living water which meets our deepest needs. Daily, we must choose to drink deeply of God, finding our life, peace, and hope in him alone.