The Bible records a story in John 4 of a Samaritan woman fetching water at a well and her life-changing encounter with Jesus. The setting of the story is at Jacob’s well, where this woman goes each day to get water for drinking, bathing and washing in her home. She returns to that well day after day….coming to the well each day is a chore that seems to have no end.
Whereas most Jewish men would not engage or talk to a Samaritan woman, Jesus bucks the trend of the day and carries on a conversation with her and asks her for some water. Their conversation goes on and Jesus later says something cryptic to her about Him being “living water”. She’s excited about this living water because, from what she understands, she wouldn’t have to trek all the way to the well each day if she had this “living water”. She wants some of it.
Of course, Jesus was talking about water as life….His Life. He is telling her that he knows she has needs (like drinking water) but that her real need (for life) can’t be quenched with the regular water of this world…with things like money, fame, shopping, recognition, jobs, boats, golf, titles, vacations or even the warm sense of being needed and belonging that comes from, say, Facebook.
Her going to the well each day is akin to us “going to the well of the world” each day to fill the emptiness in our souls and minds. We get depressed, sad, anxious, upset, needy, nervous, confused….and we need something or someone to fill us up….so we take our bucket to our favorite well and fill it up. But, as most of you know, the water from the well of the world does not have a lasting effect on our thirst….you have to go back to that well frequently to have the the sensation of being filled up…it seems there is no end to being filled up by the water of this world.
Near the end of their time together, Jesus tells the Samaritan woman that he is, in fact, the Messiah, that He is living water.
John 4:13-14 (NIV) says, “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.”
Some related and beautiful Old Testament (NIV) passages that speak to the need for living water and not man-made wells are:
- Jeremiah 2:13 “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
- Jeremiah 31:25 “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”
- Ezekiel 47:9 “Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.”
Upon studying this wonderful story of how each day Christ fills our buckets and our lives with living water, I was led to write this poem. I hope the story, scripture and poem are an encouragement to you as you seek to live in the abundance of the living water that Christ offers each of us. Today, let Him fill your bucket to the brim.
No More Running Well to Well
Many wells to fill me up
when heart and soul have need;
Many wells to draw upon
the inner urge I heed.
Insides parched where dryness reigns
I thirst for lasting fare,
But all my wells can only fill
a portion of my inner cares.
I see that now my thirst ne’r ends
this water runs right through.
And thirsty still I search for more
perhaps to find a well that’s new.
But living water, running free
I hear it has no end.
From where it comes I have no clue
Just give me some, my heart to mend.
This living water running through
it eases all the pain.
It never stops and is not short
it’s flow is swift, it fills the main
to places where my parched dry self
has labored long before
and come up short and needy still
and off to search for more and more.
But no more running well to well
I’ve found the source that’s free
The stream I’ve found is running now
Come run to it and find sweet Thee.