I get such satisfaction from a full tank of gas. At the gas pump, I see the numbers whizzing higher, each click tells me that I’ve added another gallon of driving my kids around town. After replacing the gasoline nozzle, I start up the engine and watch the needle slide to the FULL position. One less thing to think about. One less thing on my to-do list.
I feel a similar satisfaction after a bulk-buying trip to Sam’s Club. I stock up on paper products—cumbersome packages of toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues—that I cram into our hall closet. I buy enormous containers of laundry detergent and fabric softener and other household items we use every day. It feels good knowing they are there and they are full.
When I disconnect my cell phone from the charger in the morning after it’s charged all night, I notice that tiny battery icon in the corner. I like seeing that it’s all black and accompanied by a miniature 100%.
There’s just something comforting about knowing that the things we need are in abundant supply. It’s a relief.
There was a woman in the Bible who must’ve known that kind of relief or at least a desire for it. We call her the Samaritan Woman because we don’t know her name, only where she lived.
She was going to the well to draw water and she met Jesus. He asked her for a drink and they started talking. They spoke about wells and husbands and where’s the best mountain for worship.
Some scholars say that the woman was there at noon instead of early in the morning because she was shunned by all the other women of the town. This woman had a bad reputation. She had been married 5 times and now lived with another man who wasn’t her husband.
I suppose she was worn down by the time she met Jesus. Life hadn’t turned out like she had hoped. Love hadn’t lasted. Memories were painful. Her future didn’t look much better. But still she had to draw water. She needed it to drink and cook and clean. She needed it to survive. So she grabbed a robe and wrapped a scarf around her head and went out into the midday heat.
When she questioned Jesus’ boldness in speaking to a woman alone in public, He tells her that she’s asking the wrong question. Instead she should be asking Him for Living Water. Like I often do, the woman was only thinking about the immediate, physical needs. She asked Jesus how He’d get the water without a bucket and where this living water came from and why did He think His water would be better than this well—the one Jacob gave them? So many questions but still not the right ones.
Then Jesus said, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (NLT)
Her mind must have been spinning. An endless supply? Water for eternity? Never to thirst again? Sign me up!
She pleaded for Jesus to give her this water. Then Jesus told her that He knows—knows about her past and her present. He knew all about all of it and yet He still told her the big secret that was meant to be told to everyone. Jesus was the One, the Messiah. He had come to be the never-ending, overflowing source of Life.
In spite of my prayer life or Bible study methods or my own righteousness, I can look at the gauge indicating how much He’s willing to pour into me and see the needle pointing to FULL. I will eventually run out of laundry detergent and toilet paper, but there will always be an infinite stockpile of His love for me.