Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. (John 4:13–14)
She was thirsty. She had been all her life — as far back as the memories went, anyway.
There were times she thought victory arrived, times she found water to slake her gnawing thirst. For instance, her wedding day. She had found a man to love, vows to say, and hands to fall into. His eyes were so bright; bright enough to convince her this water wasn’t going anywhere. She leaned back into those arms with comfort and breathed deeply.
But one day he came home with a piece of paper in his hand, with the word she thought she’d never read. Divorce. He left, and her thirst came raging back.
There were other men she loved, other vows she said, and other hands she fell into – four of them to be exact. Each like a cloud after Elijah’s drought, bringing rain to her desert soul. Though she prayed as desperately as the prophet himself, she could never make the clouds stay. The next man didn’t want a wedding and she didn’t mind. She’d take her shade where she could get it.
But then she met another man – a man not like the others.
Never Thirst Again
Never— this word caught her attention. The man looked at her from across the well without a hint of humor and said, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again” (John 4:13–14).
No more thirst? She could do without the walks to the well — the drawing, the lifting, the hauling. “Give me this water,” she said. However, she had yet to know he was speaking of a different thirst, a thirst that came and went with the arms of a lover.
“Go, call your husband, and come here” (John 4:16). There it was – the thirst she had been clinging to for so long. But how did he know? She tried changing the topic, but she couldn’t forget the words. Her thoughts began to wander, “Never thirsty again? Who is this man?”
They spoke of worship, the Father, and the rival claims between Samaria and Jerusalem — the stuff theologians debated about. Who could know the truth? “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ),” she said. “When he comes, he will tell us all things” (John 4:25).
He looked at her with eyes bright — but not like the other men. A brightness piercing and calm, it was the closest thing she had seen to holy. He replied, “I who speak to you am he” (John 4:26).
His words went deeper than she thought words could go: down into the yawning canyon of her heart, cracked and scorched. And for a moment, she tasted what it might mean to drink from a well that would never run dry.
Lean Back into This Love
Have you tasted the water that satisfies forever? Or have you been walking from one well to the next? Finding yourself desperate for a drink that will finally last. The woman of Samaria thought her thirst would die if only a man would call her his wife. Others run to different wells: the loyalty of a friend, the bond of a family, the respect of a child. Like romance, they allure us because they do carry water. But even at their sweetest, never do they hold enough to quench a thirst like ours.
We need to hear again the promise of Jesus to all who are thirsty: “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again” (John 4:14). Never thirsty again.
Our experience with thirst might tempt us to dismiss these words as mere naïveté or vague spirituality. But remember, this is your Maker talking. He created you. He knows you. And he never lies.
True, our rebel thirsts are stubborn and we never escape them until we stand by the river of the water of life (Revelation 22:1). But even now, the water Jesus gives to all who hope in Him is becoming “a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). Our other thirsts don’t have the power they once did, and never is becoming more and more believable.
Those thirsts may continue to tell us, “Christ can’t satisfy you like I can.” But we need only to look in the eyes of this man speaking to us from across the well. Here is a love who has patiently waited as we drank and drank from any well but him (1 Timothy 1:16). He is a goodness who meets us in our thirst — not with contempt, but with invitations to turn to him (Luke 19:10). Here is a man who came to be crucified for our rebel thirsts, and to make rivers run through our deserts (Isaiah 43:19).
Lean back into these arms. Breathe deep of this goodness. Settle into the thought of Christ’s love never leaving you, never disappointing you, and never condemning you, but only cultivating you for the better, forever. All who drink of Him will never thirst again.