By Dr. Alana Cook
I have walked with the Lord for as long as I can remember. I distinctly remember asking Jesus into my heart at camp when I was eight years old. I had asked Him before (probably many times at church or with my parents), but that night at camp was the first time I really felt His presence and His realness. I also felt the weight of my own sin and I experienced remorse. I was truly thirsty for Him for the first time in my life.
The story of the Woman at the Well (John 4:1-42) has always puzzled me a little bit. Jesus said to her “whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.” (vs 14 NIV) I, like the Samaritan woman, have an expectation that I can meet with Jesus once, be filled, and never thirst again. “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” (vs 15 NIV)
The problem is I’m still thirsty. When I go about my daily life, I feel thirsty. I think it’s that I want a quick fix – I want to read my Bible and pray in the mornings (most mornings anyway) and I want to feel set up for the day, ready to conquer the world. Or I want to be filled once a week at church and somehow make it last all week.
Being dependent on Jesus in the moment – when I’m frustrated with my kids, when I’m running late, when I need the right words to say to a friend – is hard.
In other areas of life – parenting, education, career – we go through a period of training (with parenting it’s baptism by fire!) but we expect that we will acquire the skills needed to perform the necessary duties. We will eventually be independent in performing those tasks. Following Jesus isn’t like that.
I do improve over time, with prayer, praise, faith and other aspects of my Christian walk, but I will never be independent. The truth is I am always just as needy and dependent on Him as the day I first trusted Him as saviour. Jesus will never set me loose, saying “okay, she’s ready to be on her own.”
God keeps bringing me back to the well – Jesus. I am thirsty for Him. I am thirsty for Him to move in my life, to use me in the lives of the people around me, and to use me in the lives of my kids. I need to drink in Jesus every day – through reading the Word (the number 1 way that we can hear from Him), prayer and praise.
“Blessed are those that hunger and thirst… for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)
Filled for today, but I will need to come back tomorrow and every day.
Michele Breen says
Such a good reminder to stay connected to the Vine!
That is so true, Alana! I’d never thought of it that way. We’re to be like children in the way we follow Jesus. With our own kids, our goal is to make sure they don’t stay like children. They need to grow in independence.
In following Jesus, we need to grow in dependence – to get better at listening to his voice rather than better at doing it on our own.