Hope for the Dissatisfied and Empty
Whenever I read the account of Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1-43), I am struck by Jesus words:
“If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water…whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
If you only knew me, you’d “Never thirst again.”
Knowing Jesus, not knowing about Jesus, not going to a church that talks about Jesus, but actually knowing Him in order to be satisfied is what Jesus was talking about here.
He’s speaking of the internal longing in every one of our souls that can’t be met by money, power, position or influence. He’s addressing the emptiness in our heart that tells us that this world is all wrong, and that we are wrong in it. The emptiness eats away at us at various times and we instinctively know that life must have more meaning than this. We were created for eternity and our soul knows it. Jesus came to give us abundant life here and eternal life in heaven.
When our souls are empty we search and stuff.
We search and stuff in various ways. We sometimes look to fill the void with food, drink, friends, fashion, spending, business, social clubs, social projects, social media.
We seek significance in being a good mom, having a perfect home, body, or children. We take pride in heritage, genealogy, political stance, theological camps.
We look for escape in entertainment and adventure. We adopt the motto: “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” “Live life to the fullest,” –because we’re afraid that the here and now is all there is.
Creation has no capacity whatsoever to truly satisfy your heart. Your heart has been wired to find its hope, peace, and rest in God alone.
Your heart will only be satisfied when it finds its satisfaction in God.
The Samaritan woman was clearly looking for love and significance in men, as she had “five husbands.” She also identified very heavily with the fact that she was part of the “outcast” society, the Samaritans. It was the first thing that came pouring out of her mouth when Jesus talked to her: “How can it be that a Jew is talking to a Samaritan woman!”
Emptiness also emerges in the way we label ourselves.
We label ourselves by our choices: homeschooling, breastfeeding, eco-friendly, organic, artsy, free spirited, disciplined, republican, democrat, libertarian, conservative, evangelical.
We seek significance by our accomplishments. We make sure everyone knows that we are a _____________. (fill in the blank with your thing.) It’s recurring and comes up in all of our conversations. It’s our security. We identify with our own self-labels: I’m a victim, I’m a survivor, I’m a working mom, I’m super educated, my kids are super educated, I’m raising good children, my marriage is stable, my kids are obedient, my family is in tact, my finances are in order, we are debt free, we are clean eating…
Other people label us as well, fueling our own search for meaning: you’re from the wrong side of the tracks, you’re uneducated, you’re too disfunctional, your own parents disowned you, you’re a minority, you’re too fat, too skinny, too dark, too poor, too stuffy, too out of touch, too emotional, you’re from the south, you’re one of those northerners, etc…
But what happens when our labels dissipate around us? Then what?
What happens when your influence is gone, when people don’t accept you, your health is gone, your marriage is crumbling, your once-effective ministry is slipping away, your kids rebel, and you fail to live up to your own ideals?
What happens when you disappoint yourself and decide that you’re not really sure why you’re living at all.
Where do you find your satisfaction then?
Jesus is the hope for the hopeless, for the spiritually destitute.
He’s where we should have started in the first place. Jesus is not a conduit to getting what you want. Jesus is the end all. A relationship with Jesus Christ is the only place you’ll find satisfaction, because you were created for a relationship with Him.
Spiritual refreshment doesn’t come in a Coke bottle, it’s found in Christ.
Even as Christian women, maybe we’ve become soul-thirsty and dissatisfied, because we’ve wandered away from the Source of all of our happiness and have meandered over to wells that we know can never satisfy. Maybe we’ve hewn out broken cisterns and have tried to produce our own water and have lived life independently of God.
If you’re soul-thirsty today, spend some time with Jesus.
If you’ve wandered away, you know that by confessing and forsaking your sin, you’ll find relief and forgiveness.
If you’re wondering if he could love you, you simply need to look at the cross and all that he went through on your account.
Jesus is the remedy for the dissatisfied. And He’s calling to you, the empty, weary, thirsty women of the world today, just like He met with the woman at the well 2,000 years ago.
He’s the lover of your soul, my friend. And knowing and loving Him is where abundant life starts.