“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)
In a clip from 2009 on 60 minutes, Tom Brady was interviewed about his success as a football player. Despite all his fame, Brady asks, “Why do I have 3 Superbowl rings and still think there is something greater out there for me?…There’s got to be more than this.”
Brady is the epitome of success and good fortune. He has great wealth, great looks, a beautiful wife, and an amazing football career. It may seem hard to believe that he isn’t completely satisfied with his life. But there is an emptiness inside of him. That emptiness exists in all of us.
In the verse above, Jesus is talking to a Samaritan woman who had come out in the middle of the day to fetch some water. This woman comes out in the heat of the day because she is ashamed and rejected from her society. She has had 5 husbands and is currently living with a man who is not her husband. This woman had been filling her life with sex and relationships to fulfill her deepest needs. She feels empty and has been chasing men all her life to fill the gaps in her life.
We all have been in the situation of the Samaritan woman in one way or another. Because of this emptiness, we fill our lives with and rely on things to make us happy and secure, such as money, alcohol, drugs, sex, success and pleasures like nice vacations, TV, movies, friendships/relationships etc. Some of those things are not inherently bad or things that we should not enjoy or partake in. However, we will always be “thirsty” for more even though they can sustain us and make us happy in the moment. The only thing that can fulfill us is God and a relationship with Jesus. Jesus offers us eternal, living water that makes us feel complete: “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:38).
If you have trouble believing in the gospel or that Jesus truly rose from the dead, I can bet that most of you are at least searching for some greater thing in this life like Brady. I certainly was, and even though I try to look to Jesus now, I still fail at times and forget how life-giving He is.
We have all hungered to be fulfilled, but the truth is that we will never experience true fulfillment in this life because God designed it that way. Rick Warren in his book The Purpose Driven Life sums up this point nicely:
In order to keep us from becoming too attached to earth, God allows us to feel a significant amount of discontent and dissatisfaction in life—longings that will never be fulfilled on this side of eternity. We’re not completely happy here because we’re not supposed to be. Earth is not our final home; we were created for something much better.
God doesn’t want you to just live in the here and now and live as though this life is all that there is. We can’t trust our earthly possessions and experiences to give us full contentment because it cannot be found. While if you accept Christ, you get a glimpse of that living water, it’s not till heaven where we will be completely fulfilled.
So, where are you looking to find happiness? Are you fulfilled? Do you want that living water that Jesus is offering you?
If you have time and are interested in this idea, check out Rick Warren’s sermon called “Learn How to Stay Spiritually Hungry.”