We live in a zone where we are more connected to information and others than ever before in history. It is quite incredible that we carry around little computers, in essence, with us wherever we go. If we have a question or want to ask someone a question it is as close as our hands and as swift as we can type in the information we are seeking.
Yet, we live in urgent times. Meaning, we are bombarded to the point that we have a hard time separating the time before with the present moment and the future ahead. There are needs right in front of us, yet we miss opportunities because we are distracted.
I want to tell you a simple story to illustrate my point.
There was a woman who had a very hard life. She did not have very good luck with men and had a succession of relationships one after the other to where she had even given up on marriage altogether and was living with her current mate. She was forgotten and unnoticed in society and not really on anyone’s radar, except for her current mate who depended on her for some food.
She did her best each day to scrounge up the meager offering of meals. She was unable to keep food stored up because she only got enough money at any given time to manage for a day at the most.
While at work one day, she happened on an individual who, for whatever reason, stopped her and asked if she could spare a bottle of water. Her reaction was rather sour towards this person, thinking “Do I look like I can afford a bottle of water, much less buy one and give it to you?”
In her sarcasm, she bantered with him for a few minutes as to her situation, but the man persisted. He even went so far as to say he had something quite extraordinary to offer her if she was interested. Thinking it was too good to be true she attempted to play along and join the politically challenged conversation. For he was offering her, basically a new life, one which allowed her to “win the lottery” of a lifetime.
Oh, she had heard the offer before, but there was always a catch. In order to get this, you had to sell that. Or in order to obtain this freedom, you had to be willing to sell your soul for that freedom.
However, this man would not let up. What he was offering was a way out altogether. He knew the kind of woman she was, he seemed to understand her predicament financially, yet he continued to offer her something quite hard to refuse. Things were going pretty well till some of his friends showed up and seemed irritated that he would be offering their wares to the likes of her.
He had made it quite clear it was for anyone and everyone, so she left and went and got others to hear what she was hearing to see if it was really as good as she thought.
The interesting thing is her people came. Their interest was piqued and they wanted to hear it for themselves.
Meanwhile, his associates were really trying to get him to move on. Surely “these” people weren’t what their business was all about. There were surely others who were more noble and accepting. But, their leader was very adamant that this is where their business was actually needed. In fact, he even said the territory had already been penetrated with the information ahead of time and they get the reward of sealing the deal themselves.
So, just what was the man offering these people? What could possibly be so important to them that they are curious enough to see what all the fuss is about? Why were his associates so weirded out about “them” receiving what they offered?
Water. He offered them water. But not just any old water. No, this was the best of the best water. Ultra-purified, sanitized, and genuine natural spring water from the best source available. But, water, really? Just plain water.
Well, yes and no.
By now, you should recognize the story from the book of John about Jesus and the Samaritan woman. The beauty is this story is just as effective today as it was when Jesus experienced it. Everything Jesus did had a two-fold purpose. There was always an obvious lesson, but there was always a spiritual lesson as well.
So, yes, he was talking physical water, but more importantly he really meant that the water represented something altogether different. In general, in scripture, water usually represents salvation. Think about this, the waters of baptism are saving waters. Sometimes, as in this case, water also represents the Holy Spirit and how it works. Later in John, he talks about the Spirit as a lifegiving stream that swells up and actually gushes over into our lives. It is just how the Spirit works.
When you take what Jesus said about living water to the Samaritan woman and then apply it to the living Holy Spirit then it all makes sense. What He is in essence saying is that once you receive the living water of Jesus and the Spirit living in you then you will never thirst again. You will have whatever you need for life. Your life will be changed forever and what the Spirit will naturally gush out of you and your life allowing others to receive these living waters as well.
It is quite a beautiful illustration. It is quite transformative when we can grasp just what Jesus was offering. It is quite extraordinary when we realize it is actually available to anyone who happens upon it.
That is how Jesus works, that is how the Spirit works, and that is how God works in and through us.
So, the next time you go to your faucet to get a drink of water, realize the gift you have received and be willing to allow God to work through you and your life to bubble up and over and even gush out and splash on those around you.
It is a gift above all gifts. It is a life of love, compassion, mercy, and service. It is the ultra-purified, sanitized, clean, precious, and life-sustaining gift that only God could possibly give. He longs for us to pass it around freely. People around us long for it, need it desperately, and will only obtain it through us.
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