Have you ever gone on a long hike and found a spring of water to drink from? There is nothing more refreshing than spring water! I remember when I was a teenager and part of our church youth group, our youth pastor used to organise hikes to “Pedra Grande” (which means big rock) in my hometown. Pedra Grande is 1,418m high and it used to take us 4 hours to hike to the top. We used to gather at someone’s house and play games and then leave in the middle of the night to get there just before sunrise! It was great to walk with our friends and enjoy the fun. Well, while it lasted. After a couple of hours of walking, on top of the fact that none of us had slept, it seemed pretty silly to have agreed to take part in this activity. One by one we would go quiet and just walk in a single file, heads low and muscles aching, eyes red and mind drifting to a semi-sleep walk state.
About half way up we would come to a spring, half hidden from the path by the lavish vegetation – what a moment, when we would hear our leader say, “We will rest here for a little bit and drink from the spring!”. Even now as I type these words I can remember the feeling of the cold fresh water on my face and the amazing taste! It was enough to brighten our spirits and spur us on the walk. There were 2 points on that trail with springs and we made good use of them, drinking and refilling our bottles, feeling encouraged we were almost at the end of our journey. Of course, at that point all we wanted was to get to the top and we weren’t even thinking about the journey back home. Once on the top of the rock we would just drop and wait for the sunrise! God never disappoints! He is such an artist and the amazing skies declare His majesty and glory. We would sit there eating the food we had packed and drinking the fresh water from the spring.
Eventually, the food ran out and so did the water. The tiredness would get the best of us and we would just lay there sleeping for a couple of hours and then have a Bible study before heading back down. During the day it was really different and sometimes scary to see where we had walked in the dark. The spring of water didn’t look much and one might think what the fuss was all about, until you tasted the water again. I do love a spring!
The Bible tells us that Jesus got tired after a journey and he felt thirsty (I love these moments in Scripture when we are reminded that Jesus was fully human and he knew what it is like to feel tired and thirsty). He came to a well where he spoke to a woman and asked her for some water. This woman was a Samaritan! Jews and Samaritans were not friends and did not associate with one another at all. You can read all about this wonderful encounter in John chapter 4. This is one of my favourite passages in the Gospels. He displays such love and compassion to this woman. He knew who she was and all that she had done and he was there offering her the greatest gift of all – salvation. She was really surprised he would talk to her and ask her to give him some water and this is what He says to her in verse 10:
“Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
Imagine what it would be like to live in a very hot area of the world and have to fetch water in the middle of the day and now be faced with this option of having living water (running water). I think it is hard for us to imagine this situation as all we have to do is turn a tap and we have running water. But Jesus knew how hard it was in his time to get water from a well and as refreshing as it might have been to those tired, hot and thirsty, that water would only quench thirst for a short while and soon they would need to return to the well to get more. But the water Jesus was offering was very different than the water this woman or any of us are used to. This is what He says in verses 13 and 14:
“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.”
Jesus is offering her salvation, a water that will never stop flowing and it will last for eternity. Of course at first, she thought Jesus was just talking about actual water, but when Jesus speaks to her about her life and He talks about the kingdom of God and who He is, she believes him and she goes and tells the whole town about Him. What a fantastic day that was! Many Samaritans received this wonderful gift. This offering of salvation of a living water, that will satisfy for eternity, is still available to all who will believe and follow Him. I have drunk water from many different springs through my life and I can say that spring water is the best water you can find. I can also say I have drunk from the water Jesus offers and I know that I have been saved and forgiven for all eternity! Now, that is a feeling that satisfies. No matter what happens, I am secure in Him.
All praise be to Him who is the fountain of all life and life eternal!