National Geographic has a new series titled “The Story of God”. The premise is they look through different world religions trying to pinpoint God’s origin and the meaning of life. I haven’t watched the show, and I don’t plan on it. However, I think the premise points to a need in our hearts.
Every human designates a purpose to their life. Some spend years searching for that purpose. Others settle for a feeling or thought. Some indulge their own desires, thinking if they reach the pinnacle of success, they’ll find satisfaction. We all search, but we don’t all find. It’s a sad truth. Many will settle for something far less than they’re calling.
There’s a story about this very thing, and it goes something like this:
A woman came to draw water from a well. It was a quiet place, unlike the busy streets inside town. She didn’t have to be mocked here. She came when it was desolate for this very reason. A stillness often resided, allowing her brief moments of peace. But today, as she approached, she noticed a man on the far side. She ignored Him, but He turned to her and asked for a cup of water.
Skeptical of the stranger, she questioned why He would request water from her. He was a Jew, and she a Samaritan. They did not associate. The stranger smiled and instead of answering her thoughts, began a story about water. He told her a water existed which would keep her thirst at bay. She wouldn’t have to carry heavy containers any longer from the well. The woman pondered this news. Such water would be priceless indeed! She begged the man for this strange elixir.
But He asked her for something in return…”Go and get your husband.”
She had been married five times but had no present husband. Clearly, the stranger didn’t know. “I have no husband,” she told him.
He nodded in agreement. “You’ve had five husbands, and the one whom you have now is not your husband.”
The woman was amazed. How could this man know such things about me? He must be a prophet.
But the stranger was not one.
This puzzled the woman, so she said, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.”
“I who speak to you am He.”
This story is from John 4. You can see the actual text there and how their encounter concludes. Jesus is the stranger in the story. He interacts with this woman at the well. Through their encounter, He tells her about a magical water, but the water was only a metaphor for something greater. It represented something which could satisfy all her longings. What could be so great?–the man she was talking to–Jesus.
He wrote your story before you were born, and He allows you to have a part in your tale. You can find permanent satisfaction in life, a “happy ending” to the story. That’s what Jesus wanted this woman to know. There is hope. God is a firm foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11). We sometimes rely on ourselves for satisfaction and purpose. Whether it’s a sport, a career, a physical physique, church, or even good actions, the Bible says nothing else satisfies. Jesus told this story, because He wanted us to know He was the thirst-quenching water. Whatever you’re thirsting for today, He is able to satisfy your needs.