Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Soak It Up!

Many things in this life I do because I'm "supposed" to. Sometimes experts tell us certain activities are "good" for us. One of those things for me is drinking water. Plain, odorless, tasteless. No flavor. I have good intentions when it comes to consuming more water. I definitely desire to improve this facet of my life that will help keep my body healthy.

I buy handy 16 ounce water jugs to keep water accessible in the car or during my workout. After one bottle, I switch to something more flavorful. When I eat out, I plan to order water at the restaurant. After all, it's free. The waitress asks me what I want, and I bait and switch. "I'll have an unsweet iced tea, please." That's partly water, right?! I convince myself that not drinking my eight glasses a day isn't that big of a deal. I can always begin tomorrow.
What's my problem? I know that water is better for me than any other fluid. It quenches thirst. It makes my brain function better and helps guard against headaches and migraines. Water protects and nourishes my joints. It helps flush out the toxins in my body and protects my vital organs. The benefits of drinking enough water are endless. Still, given a choice, I reach for the ice cold diet Pepsi even though its only perk is its taste.
If I knowingly choose what is not beneficial for me, what isn't revitalizing my physical body, is it any wonder that I also do this very same thing in my faith journey? The Samaritan woman's encounter with Jesus in the Bible screams loudly at me. Although I haven't had five husbands and living with my sixth, I keep drinking the stuff that's not going to ultimately satisfy. She, too, is searching for something that will quench her thirst. Jesus says to her, "whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:14) He completely changes her life with these simple but profound words. She doesn't have to keep reaching for the diet Pepsi when Jesus offers an endless supply of life-giving, thirst-quenching water.
It's all around us in this world...people searching for something that will satisfy, bring happiness, cure loneliness, fix their broken hearts, provide love. None of us can point fingers, either. Even "church girls" like me attempt to gratify ourselves with non-living water. This point hit home with me this week as I discovered that a family member is being lured to compromise in some areas of her faith. I want to protect her, shield her and shake her with these words, "You won't find joy and fulfillment taking that path. 'Out there' are empty and broken promises. Life may look appealing. Those things may taste like a refreshing drink, but they'll fill you with toxins that poison your body and mind."
God confirms this truth in Jeremiah 2:13, "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water." Finding one's fulfillment in anything other than the living water will only lead to brokenness. The Samaritan woman is the poster child for drinking from a broken cistern. As the saying goes, she looked for love in all the wrong places and still kept coming up empty. It's only when Jesus reveals to her that the water he is offering to her will never be depleted, will permanently satiate her thirst and offer her the hope she's looking for, that she experiences a complete transformation.
What are you thirsting for? Do you seek fulfillment in relationships that don't satisfy? Is buying more material possessions going to fill your longing? Will you finally be happy if you lose those pounds? Will your thirst be quenched if you only had more money? A better husband? Friends that will fill your empty cup with constant praise?
Let me suggest that the only source of water that isn't going to run dry is the spring of living water, whose name is Jesus! I desperately desire and pray for my family member to grasp this truth. While she is questioning, searching and wondering, I am praying for wisdom, guidance and direction.
The spiritual benefits of drinking from the spring of living water are similar to the benefits of water to your physical body. As you soak up the living water, you will nourish and revitalize your soul in a way that nothing else quenches. You will rid yourself of the deadly toxins that threaten to destroy your life. You will begin to think with clarity, having the mind of Christ. The Psalmist says that a man who seeks God is "like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." (Psalm 1:3)
As I take another sip from my water bottle to hydrate my body, I'm reminded once again to stop running to everything else for satisfaction and soak from the Spring that is never depleted. May you remember to do the same!

2 Spout:

Thanks Annette for sharing! I needed this reminder!

Just finished writing a Bible lesson from Numbers and 1 Cor. 10. I referenced your post as an additional resource to help us stop craving the things of the world and to desire God!
Jill :)

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