“…but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life…” – John 4:14
The other day I found myself thirsty.
So, I got up from the couch, I put on my shoes, grabbed my keys and wallet, drove down the street a little bit to the corner store, put the car in park, walked in, looked around to find the canned drinks, grabbed a can of the absolute finest flavored carbonation in the U.S., paid the man behind the counter with some of my allotted-per-month fun money, exchanged pleasantries and whatnot’s, walked back outside to get back in the car to drive back to the apartment, and ended my escapade by sitting back on that same couch to relax and crack open the can of delightful chemicals and enjoy every sip.
I didn’t get to enjoy it too much, though, because after a few “sips” my deliciousness was gone. I also had an inkling of heartburn that was sure to take precedence over the joy I longed for. I really was not very happy at the end of my drink… And to top it all off, I was still thirsty.
I timed my adventure (because I have this ceaseless curiosity for useless information) and it would seem as though I carved out 11 whole minutes of my day to go and do something that I did not have to do, did not need to do, and probably (eventually realized) should not have done.
11. Whole. Minutes.
A few days later, still rather thirsty, I read Philemon. An entire book of the bible. It is a short book, mind you, but a book nonetheless. I read how Philemon gave Paul joy and comfort by mere love, how this love refreshed his brothers (something I desperately wanted), how Onesimus was once cast away but Paul sends him back after some training and discipleship to be a brother and a help forever, how Paul plead with Philemon for more refreshment, and how the love and friendship that comes through a community transcends distance.
I was encouraged because I remembered a letter from a friend of mine on his wedding day, explaining his gratitude to God for our deep and abiding friendship.
And I was reminded of God’s faithfulness in a situation of earthly chaos that brought about the salvation of a friend whom I never believed would ever, ever, follow Jesus.
And I was reminded of the blessing of, and most certainly hopeful about, the finality of my own sanctification, because of the joy from Paul in the midst of his own.
I felt full. I felt satisfied. I felt loved and cared for. My thirst was not only quenched but completely squandered. I was teeming with joy and gladness because of what I had just done.
And I timed myself doing this as well (curiosity remember?). I spent an entire 3 minutes and 22 seconds of my day reading the Word of God, being encouraged and lifted up by the Holy Spirit through the words of Paul, communing and spending time with my Father.
3 whole minutes and 22 whole seconds.
I do not have a lack of time, I believe, in reading my Bible; I have a lack of using the time I do have in order to do so…
A lack of thirst, if you will.
O’ that one day I may declare with the Psalmist:
With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes!
With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth.
In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
– Psalm 119:10-16
Until then, I remain thirsty…
But at least now I know where the well is.
– Jacob Simmons, Student Pastor