March 07, 2015

Thirst Quenched

Psalm 42:1-8; John 4:7-14

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.”

—  John 4:13-14

The Sons of Korah were a school of psalm writers in Israel. One wrote, "My soul thirsts for God, for the living God." Believers have cried these words with hearts burning and souls more desperate for God than a desert-parched tongue is for water. And Jesus has revealed that he is the only one who can quench our soul-thirst.

It was high noon when a travel-weary Jesus came to a community well in Samaria. A local woman who needed to fill her water jars came there too. She was naturally wary. Religious and racial differences with the Jews had led to prejudice. And she was a woman. No Jewish man, especially a teacher, would converse with a Samaritan woman.

But Jesus did: "Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst." She soon realized she was speaking with the Messiah. He knew everything about her and was full of grace, truth, and love. She was thirsty when she came to the well, but now she was parched for living water.

We all thirst for God. The water Jesus offers is the only thing that will satisfy. We need to acknowledge our thirst and accept his offer—regularly. Like our Samaritan friend who drew buckets of water daily, we need to drink daily from the Lord's well, his Word. That takes daily spiritual discipline.

We are parched, Lord, desperately thirsty for the living water found only in you. By your Word and the well of the Holy Spirit, satisfy our thirsty souls today, we pray. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Norman F. Brown

Chaplain Norman F. Brown graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, in 1969. He served aboard destroyers during the Vietnam conflict and ashore in San Diego, Calif., as an instructor. By then God had made clear his call to work in pastoral ministry, and Norman entered Calvin Theological Seminary, graduating in 1980. Chaplain Brown pastored churches during his ministry career but spent most of his time as a navy chaplain. During one assignment he served three years at Holy Loch, Scotland, where he and his wife, Ruth, encountered the Iona Community and their emphasis on spiritual disciplines. Chaplain and Mrs. Brown have three married children and nine grandchildren.

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