“For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,
To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:13
Do you know what it's like to be thirsty? I mean REALLY thirsty? Perhaps after playing a sport or hiking a mountain or when we've been sick. It's a horrible feeling. Your throat feels like a desert, your tongue sticks to the roof of your mouth. You feel like you'd do ANYTHING for a sip of water.
Yet there are other ways to feel thirsty. Perhaps you're thirsty to be loved, thirsty for success, power, money. Maybe you're thirsty for friends, a house, a new car. Or perhaps you're thirsty for recognition, fulfillment, purpose. Maybe you're just thirsty for good health, peace, a good marriage, the well-being of your kids, lost loved ones to be saved! None of these things are bad. They are all natural human needs. But they give us a thousand ways to thirst! And all of them make us feel that same excruciating longing and desperation that we feel from physical thirst.
So what do you do when you're thirsty? You get a drink! In the old days, people went to wells and pulled up buckets of water from deep within the earth. Yet we are no different today. We each have our own wells that we dip from. If we thirst for money, then we dive into the well of money, hoping to satisfy that need. If we thirst for possessions, we jump into that well and buy buy buy!. If we thirst for approval, we dip from the well of opinion and try to do things that please others. You get the idea. Here's some wells I know I've dipped into during my life. Perhaps you can think of others.
Approval of man
The trouble with this wells is they don't quench our thirst. They may for awhile, even for a season, but inevitably they leave us wanting for more. That's what Jesus was trying to tell the woman who came to draw water from the well,
“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.”” John 4:13-14
Jeremiah was so accurate when he said in the verse at the top of this post that the people had dug for themselves broken cisterns that held no water. They may hold water for awhile, but there's a leak, and soon when you dip your bucket in again, you come up empty. For those of you who have lived a while now, you know this to be true. NOTHING that you thought would satisfy you, nothing that you thought would fulfill you, has lasted. Why? Because we all dip into the wrong well. We dip into man-made wells instead of God's well of living water.
I don't know about you, but I've been doing a lot of dipping into the wrong wells. I've been trying to find fulfillment in money, success, fame, approval. I've become too caught up in what the world considers success. My books, my sales numbers, reviews, contests. . . and what others think of me. I allowed myself to get caught up in a whirlwind of activities, trying to find some way to achieve what I wanted. But it has all left me thirsty. Terribly thirsty.
Jesus gives us the answer in the verse above. He is the living water that never runs dry. He is the answer to ALL our human needs. When we drink freely from Him everyday, we have no need of the other things. They don't matter anymore. So, how do we drink this living water? How do you drink regular water? The minute you feel a slight thirst, don't you run and get a drink? So, why not do the same thing when you feel an inner thirst rise up? Run and spend time with Jesus. I've been doing that lately, and I'm telling you it works!!
There once was a famous person who had achieved everything anyone would ever want. He had money, beautiful women, fame, success. When he was asked by a reporter what was the one thing that surprised him the most after he achieved such great success in life, and he said. "When I finally reached the top, I found it empty."