Some years back, on a trip to Italy, we spent a week in Florence visiting my family there. My son was 8 years old at the time. One hot, humid Sunday afternoon, my uncle suggested we take a ride out of town to escape the heat in the city. As we drove the winding roads into the surrounding hills, we enjoyed the beauty and cooler temperatures of the wooded countryside.
At one point, my uncle stopped at a spot where he knew there was a natural spring of water. We spent a few minutes there, enjoying the water. After we’d all had our fill, or so I thought, it was time to leave. Every time we moved toward the car, my son would quickly run back to take another drink.
This went on at least a half dozen times, and finally in exasperation I said, “You can’t still be thirsty.” He looked at me saying, “But mommy, it tastes so good. I can’t get enough.” I told him it would have to be enough because it was time to leave.
He asked, “Mommy, do we have a bottle in the car?” Confused, I answered, “What kind of bottle are you talking about?” He replied, “A plastic bottle, you know, for water.” I said “What for? We have water at the house.” And then he said, “For daddy. It tastes so good, I want to bring some home to him.” You see, my husband was not with us on our trip to Italy.
Well, that stopped me in my tracks. I was in awe looking at his little face, which was so earnestly trying to find a way to share what he had been enjoying. I explained that we didn’t have a bottle, but even if we did, we still had another few weeks left of our trip, and the water would not taste the same when we got home as it did at that moment.
As I think back, the imagery of that day mirrors the desire that he and I both have today to see his father, my husband, truly drink from the “springs that never run dry,” the life-giving stream that the Lord talks about in John 4:14.
As I think about how we are waiting patiently for the day that those who we know and love, our friends and family, come and taste, I pause and think, “What about me?”
How many times have I gone thirsty, even though I know and have tasted the waters of life? If I’m honest, sadly, I have to say, too many times! All the while, the Lord continually beckons me to drink, to refresh my soul.
The only thing that keeps me from the fountain is myself. When I move away from it, I cannot draw from it, and I become spiritually dehydrated. I may try to quench my thirst with other things, but they are not what my soul longs for. In order to flourish, scripture tells me that He is the vine and I am the branch. I need to draw from Him daily.
Jeremiah 17:8 paints a beautiful picture telling me what that looks like: “For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”
So, while we reach out to eagerly share the waters of life that the Lord Jesus has to offer a thirsty world, we also need to continually drink in order to be like that tree so that we can proclaim, “Our Father has wells that never run dry.”
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.