The Water of Life

Water is very precious and is vital to sustaining life. Our little planet is, as far as we know, unique in the universe because of the abundance of water. Yet the East of England is experiencing a serious drought. A record dry 18 months, with virtually no rain this winter, has left rivers and reservoirs at critically low levels. These are the worst shortages for more than 90 years.

Some countries in Africa are experiencing very severe drought so that people and animals are dying. Since July 2011, a severe drought, the worst in 60 years, has been affecting the entire East Africa region. More recently aid agencies have warned about serious problems, because of drought, in West Africa, including Mali, Chad and Burkina Faso. We pray that rain will come and people’s needs will be met.

In John, chapter 4, we read of Jesus talking to a woman by a well in Samaria. She had come, in the heat of midday, to draw water from the well. Fetching and carrying water was hard work then, as it is today for many women in the world. The woman had experienced many problems in her life, including several broken marriages, which had really hurt her. Jesus spoke to her in a kindly way, even though her first response to him was negative. He revealed a real love for her and addressed her deepest needs.

Jesus knew that the water from the well could only satisfy the physical needs of the woman and her family for short time but, using the image of water, spoke of the deep and lasting satisfaction which comes from knowing him. He told her that she had only to ask him and he would give her “living water”. He went on to say, “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

All of us want to find deep and lasting satisfaction. We want to know why we were created and the meaning of life. The answer cannot be found in religion, but is found in knowing Jesus. Many people, from all nations, have responded to his love, demonstrated in his death on the cross for our sins. As they have come to him they have experienced a deep peace and joy, as the woman did that day, which satisfies their deepest longings.

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