The Weekly Word - A Devotion for the Week of May 10
Jesus answered, “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)
If you grew up during the 1980s, you might recall these lyrics from the country song “Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places” -- Looking for love in all the wrong places. Looking for love in too many faces…
This song could be the soundtrack for today’s verses about the woman at the well.
Jesus knows all about this woman’s past. He knows she’s had five husbands. He knows her latest love is not her spouse. He knows she’s been searching for love – for sustenance and fulfillment -- in all the wrong places and in all the wrong faces.
This is exactly why she’s still thirsty, Jesus says. She’s still unsatisfied because she’s been drinking from the wrong source. She’s got the wrong well. She’s been looking for meaning, value, security and worth everywhere else but the only true place she’ll find it: in Jesus.
Most of us can probably relate to this story. Maybe, like the woman Jesus spoke to at the well, we look to satisfy our thirst for meaning in a relationship. Or perhaps we are looking to find satisfaction elsewhere: through achievement and success, or by acquiring wealth, status or recognition.
There are as many ways to seek contentment, fulfillment and security as there are human beings on Earth. But the truth is, when we look to the outside world for our value and worth, we are certain to come up thirsty and empty every single time.
There is only one spring that will truly quench our thirst, and that is in our relationship with God.
Do you ever wonder what happened to the woman at the well after she ran back to the village to proclaim the Messiah’s arrival? Did she stop looking for love in all the wrong places? Did she abandon her pursuit of worldly love and fulfillment to drink fully and deeply from the living water?
John doesn’t give us the ending of this story in his Gospel, so we can’t know for sure how the woman’s life turned out. We can trust, however, that no matter where her life led or how far she might have strayed in her spiritual journey, God patiently and faithfully invited her back to His living water again and again.
Gracious God, I tend to look everywhere but You for satisfaction and fulfillment. Thank You for reminding me that my thirst for wholeness can only be found in You. Amen.