Have you ever spent a day working in high temperatures, over 100 degrees, with the sun blazing upon your head? How you wished for a cold glass of water, or iced tea. How valuable to you was that glass of water or tea when you were extremely thirsty?
In the fourth chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus encounters a Samaritan woman who went to draw water from the town well in the middle of the day, when it was hot, and the sun was blazing on her head. She was there at this time of high heat because she was a woman of low repute, scorned by the other women of the town, and could not come when the other women drew their water. Now Jesus confronts this woman and offers her living water, verses 13 and 14: “Jesus answered, ‘everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but 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.’” The woman eagerly desired this “living water”, if it meant not having to come to the well in the heat of the day.
We may not be anything like this Samaritan woman, but don’t we all have difficulties in our lives that we wish would go away. Don’t we ever wish that we no longer had our physical pains, or monetary difficulties, or social difficulties with others, or whatever is causing us physical or emotional pain at this time?
Jesus was not offering this Samaritan woman relief from her present difficulties; she was still a social outcast in her community; but he was offering her a relief that had eternal consequences. He was offering her “a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” And he offers this “spring of water” to you and to me. He has taken away all the sins and difficulties in hers and in our lives that keep us separated from God. In his death on the cross, he paid the penalty for all our sins, all our difficulties with God, dying as our substitute, that God now forgives us of all our sins and rebellions, and offers us a place in his eternal kingdom.
All we are asked to do is to believe this, to believe that Jesus is our Lord and our Savior, that he died for our sins, and that he arose again from the dead in victory over death. And now believing this we believe that we also will be raised from the grave to new life with him, living with him and worshipping him for all eternity.
The Samaritan woman still had to live the life she had at this time, but now she was assured of a better life to come when she leaves this sinful world. So also we still have our physical pains and worldly difficulties, but we now look with eagerly expectation for that day when we leave this world and enter into that wonderful world where we will be in the presence of our Lord and God and will live with him forever. May this promise help us to endure our present problems until at last they come to an end.