Whoever drinks this water will be thirsty again; but no one who drinks the water that I shall give him will ever be thirsty again: the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water, welling up for eternal life. John 4:14
There is only one source of life and it is a never ending, never stopping, always available flow from a renewable spring.Â It is not a glass that is drunk dry or a pond that dries up, it is a spring, always bubbling forth.
Iâ€™ve been meditating on this verse off and on since late March.Â I canâ€™t get away from (and I donâ€™t want to get away from) the reality that I have all that I need in relationship with God the Father, through the life of the Son and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.Â He is the source of life and He is always available to me.Â In the midst of trouble and hardship and struggle this never stopping, never running dry source of life is available to me!
The past six weeks have held some unique challenges.Â After traveling for the better part of two weeks with limited internet access (and limited time to be online) I returned home ready to drive into the â€œback-logâ€ of tasks awaiting me. Â That very day my home internet went out.Â Over four weeks later it is still not fixed.Â This circumstance sent me on a journey of two dimensions.Â Â First, it challenged me to think creatively and see how I can accomplish the primary aspects of my work with people scattered around the globe and second it challenged me to listen carefully to God.Â I have to assume that with the internet disconnected that perhaps God has other plans for my days than those to which I would naturally default.
In the press of circumstantial challenges, I find again how my heart seeks to draw life from many sources.Â How many times have I reached for my phone to fill my empty moments by checking email or Facebook?Â How many times have I reached for my Vonage internet phone to share a joy or a struggle with a friend only to realize that the phone doesnâ€™t work?Â How many times have I thought of someone and reached for the phone or email to check in with them, finding myself vaguely frustrated when I canâ€™t connect with them?Â Why does it cause frustration when I realize that all I can do in that moment is pray for them instead of with them?Â Why doesnâ€™t the idea of connecting with Christ bring me the same excitement as the thought of connecting with a friend?
Then last week when my DVD player broke (and I donâ€™t have television) I found myself wondering whether to cry or laugh.Â One more avenue of distraction removed.Â Why is it so hard to be still, to dwell in solitude, for an extended period of time?Â Why do I (lover of quiet and solitude) struggle to live in a place of aloneness with God?Â How many times has my first move been to fill myself up with something or someone other than relationship with God?Â And what does it look like to lean into the pain of letting go of all these secondary things in order to embrace the joy of intimacy with Christ, lived out in this season of being pushed into the feelings of isolation that a lack of technology can bring?
Honestly this loss is a gift.Â It is not an easy gift to receive (and I do hope it is resolved soon), but it is a gift nonetheless.Â When I find myself empty and aware of all the things that lull me into a place of contentment that is founded on any source other than Christ then I have an opportunity to repent and to once again throw myself into a wholehearted pursuit of the only source of real and true life.
Itâ€™s surprising how much more valuable a spring of water appears when we find ourselves in a desert place.Â Iâ€™m incredibly thankful for the God who invites us to come and drink and satisfy our thirst.