“Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
In the summer of 2017, I joined a group that was bicycling from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic coast, a journey of over 4,300 miles. At about the 30-mile mark, I developed severe cramps and agonized about dropping out and having to explain that to all the people who had sponsored me for the trip. After struggling into camp, some of the more experienced riders asked me how much water I’d been drinking. I learned that I had not been drinking nearly enough. They explained why we needed to “hydrate, hydrate, hydrate”—and, following that advice, I no longer suffered from cramps during the journey. It’s amazing that water can make such a difference in our lives!
Water is an absolute necessity for life. The Samaritan woman knew this and laboriously drew it daily from the well. But Jesus introduced her to water that would solve the problem of thirst once and for all. In John 7:39 we learn that this water is the Holy Spirit. As Jesus put it, this water “wells up” to eternal life.
Maybe we think of “eternal life” as something to be obtained and experienced only after we die. But Jesus is saying that the Spirit empowers us to experience eternal life already today. This water reaches into every nook and cranny of our lives, creating love, joy, peace, and much more—and this water keeps filling us with real, full life forever.
Lord, nourish us with your Spirit, for without the water that only you can provide, we cannot experience eternal life. Amen.
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