"The woman said to him, 'Sir, give me this water so I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.' "
My stomach is an amazing feat of genetic engineering. No, not just the rippling 6 pack that rests behind a soft cushion of unreleased energy, but the fact that it processes food every day. Without fail, no matter how much, or what, I ate the day before, I am hungry again. Doing a bit of simple math I estimate that I have consumed approximately 35,000 pounds of food in my entire life. Nearly 18 tons!!!!!
No matter how much I eat. Every day I am hungry again. It never stops. You would think after like 20,000 pounds we could at least take a few year break.....
Our whole lives are driven by this truth. What we consume to satisfy our appetites is burned up by that desire and we must return for more.
Not just food. Relationships. Entertainment. Sleep. There is nothing that doesn't fall into that endless cycle.
What is worse is that while some ways we satisfy our appetites is relatively benign(such as eating), we often fill our felt needs with resources that are in the long run significantly more destructive than fulfilling.
Take for instance the individual consumed by drug addiction. In some cases we know that the altered brain chemistry creates a real "need" for the drug. But each successive use destroys the user, and leaves them needing more and more.
Or the person driven by sexual compulsion. Either in physical acts or pornography. Recent studies show that brain function is radically affected by sexual promiscuity. And while it at first meets a legitimate felt need(intimacy) it ultimately destroys the ability to experience intimacy.
Sadly, in one degree or another, most of us can attest to compelling needs that drive our existence. And rarely do they bring ultimate satisfaction. They leave us feeling more empty then before. And yet when the need screams out, we go right back.
There is so much going on with this "woman at the well". Jesus is offering her a living water that will keep her from ever being thirsty again. Which of course is His reference to eternal life. What does she immediately think about? No longer walking all the way down to the well each and every day. She says, give me some of that endless water so I can save myself some daily inconvenience.
She has a real need. She is thirsty. And when Jesus comes into her life, she has trouble seeing out of that lens.
We do this so often. We look at the needs(legitimate and otherwise) in our lives and say, "Jesus, get in here and fix this problem....this SPECIFIC problem that is very inconvenient".
We don't want Jesus if we are honest with ourselves. We want stuff. Better relationships, more money, less being sick.....Jesus comes to offer Himself. The only source of absolute and eternal hope and we cry out for finite toys.
Jesus was offering to satisfy the woman at the wells deepest needs. The ones that being thirsty are pale reflections of. And that is what He is offering you as well.
Our struggles with a lack of satisfaction are what drive unhealthy and destructive behaviors. We are desperate to feel satisfied. So we run after our appetites hoping that this "meal" will be the answer. It never is.
It is normal to be hungry. Like me, you have consumed thousands of pounds of food in your life. There is nothing wrong with eating. But why do some people eat in damaging and unhealthy ways while others easily make healthy choices?
We treat food as a source of making us feel better. And so we eat, not to fuel our body, but to get an emotional high. I don't physically need a donut and a box of chocolates. I emotionally "need" them. Have you ever ate just because you are bored? Than you know what I am talking about. And as long as I allow my satisfaction to be determined by "food" I will abuse it, and, be abused by it.
How about you? What are the things in your life that you abuse and abuse you in turn in the name of satisfying a need? Is it a relationship? Money? Sex? A hobby?
Christ comes to you at that very well and says, "Stop exhausting yourself for water that will never satisfy"
Are you ready to experience a true satisfaction that frees you from the cycle of consumption and starvation? Drink the Water that is offered freely.
No big theological point here. Just thought it was funny....