You have heard the statement that a person can live for days, weeks, or even months without food (really, you can!), but go 2 or 3 days without water and it could kill you. Why is that? In terms of water, on average 50-70% of our body weight is water and just about everything we do uses (and thus our body loses) water. Our cells, organs and tissues need water to regulate our temperature, carry nutrients, and maintain bodily functions. The biggest ways we lose water are breathing, sweating, digestion, extraction by our kidneys to make urine, and use by our bowels (need we saw more?). So you see, we need a regular replenishment of water to keep our bodies working as the finely tuned machines they are. For most of us, our “finely tuned” is in need of a tune-up, but nonetheless, our bodies are constantly in need of water to work properly.
On the other hand, our bodies have a supply of food ready to use, in the form of fat. And yes, a certain amount of fat is essential for our bodies to maintain life and body functions. Most of us have more fat than our bodies need, thus we have a “reserve,” so that is why we can go longer without food than without water.
No matter how much water we drink, the continually lose water and need to replenish our supply. Our bodies are continually thirsty. We drink all kinds of beverages to get water and nutrients, but at the end of the day, we can never get enough water. So let’s just say that we “leak” and we constantly need to be filled. Okay enough information on human physiology.
Just like drinking water replenishes our physical bodies, we try to replenish our souls by looking in a variety of places to find joy, happiness, fulfillment, satisfaction, and contentment in life. To name a few, some of us look to relationships, others to our jobs, maybe to our spouses or kids, or even our health or financial status. And while none of those are bad places (and there are a number of bad places to look), they will never bring us complete joy in life. Relationships turn sour, jobs disappear, divorce happens, spouses and kids go off the rails, the doctor calls us in and tells us we have cancer, or a major unexpected expense drains our bank account.
Jesus tells us that He and He alone is our sustainer, even better than the most refreshing drink you can think of. A story in the Bible helps make this point. This particular story is only found in the Gospel of John. Let us set the stage. Jesus was on his way from Judea to Galilee. On the trip He passed through the region of Samaria. Around noon He stopped at a well (Jacob’s Well) located in the village of Sychar. There, at the well, Jesus met a Samaritan woman and He asked her for a drink. Since Jews did not associate with Samaritans, the woman was caught by surprise. As a side note, this well is fed by underground springs and its water is fresh and cool. The water in this well is moving and not from a cistern, thus in those days it was called “living water,” a term familiar to them that Jesus was about to give new meaning to.
This Samaritan woman questioned why Jesus was asking her for water for a drink, and He told her that if she knew who He was, she would have asked Him for “living water.” The woman still did not get it, and she wondered how this man would get her this living water from the well when he has no bucket to draw the water with. So let’s turn to what the scripture says is Jesus’ answer to her question. In John 4:13-14 (MSG) we see these words, Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst – not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”
Now the woman was catching on. She asked Jesus for this living water so she wouldn’t go thirsty again. Jesus wasn’t done with her yet, he now read her mail and proceeded to dialogue with her about not having a current husband, in fact, she had been married five times and was now living with another man. After this encounter with Jesus we can imagine this woman was shaken to her core. She then went back to her town and told the people about this man who she had just encountered. We encourage you to read this story in its entirety, John 4:1-30.
Having said all that, we now simply want offer this encouragement to you. Just as your physical body needs water to stay hydrated and healthy, your soul needs living water to stay hydrated and healthy. And just as your physical body leaks, your soul also leaks and is in constant need of being filled with Jesus. Jesus offers us free refills of His living water, so go to Him and drink of His living water over and over, and you will never be “thirsty” again!