Photini's Story Final

Water in the Well

We are continuing Photini’s story found in John 4:4-42.  Please take the time to read this powerful story and then consider this question.  How does this story relate to me?

From the creation of man, a fundamental struggle of thirst and satisfying our thirst from the right well has existed.  Thirst is a legitimate need.  This need is in our genetics.  God also created us with volition, the right and ability to make choices.  We make choices all day long each and every day.  What water source we will drink from? Those choices and produce life or death!

Jer. 2:13 reads, my people have committed two sins; They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. A cistern is a water collection basin.  Israel was not pursuing God, even though God was always faithful in his love and care for them.  They were guilty, as we are, of pursuing other things as idols with the hope of them quenching thirst.

We are no different than Israel.  Rather than go to God for all of our needs and desires, we do everything we can to be our own savior.  And like Israel, we dig our own cisterns.  The problem with the cisterns we create is that they eventually fail. The water runs out through the cracks and holes as fast as it is poured in.  

When Jesus spoke to Photini at Jacobs well, He asked for a drink.  Photini replied, “you are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman.  How can you ask me for a drink?  For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.”  Jesus answered her, “If you know the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you have asked him and he would have given you living water.”  Jesus went on to say, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Jesus knew Photini’s reality, her life.  He was not addressing water that was drawn from an ancient well, known as Jacobs well, but the only water that could quench man’s thirst.  Jesus was the giver of that water, eternal water.  It is an eternal gift.

We fill our lives with what we think will bring satisfaction, contentment and comfort to our hearts.  In reality, the way in which we try to satisfy our thirst is like pouring water into a broken cistern.  There is never an end.  It is a futile effort.  It is an illusion of it satisfying our needs and desires.  We try to make our world work by our own efforts.  Our thoughts are often; “if I only have enough money or possessions, if I only had a good car or house, perhaps if I only had the right man or woman in my life, if I only had enough drugs or alcohol, if I could achieve more and be a success at work.  Then, I will be satisfied.”  

These efforts do not work. We all know it, but we are stuck in the endless search.  More; more, more.  What once was enough for Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden, became inadequate because of the constant temptation for more.  Like in the Garden, Satan is always standing near to offer his lies in order to persuade us in giving into temptation, or trying to make our world work without God.  Satan has not changed.
He continues to lie to us today by the same temptations he used with Adam an Eve. We need more and more of whatever the illusion is before us.  We keep pouring water into the cistern that has holes in it.

What do we do with this seemingly unquenchable thirst for more? The “more”, is usually more sin or “missing the mark.” God through Jesus Christ is the only one to satisfy.  The life that Jesus Christ offers us 24/7 is life as God wants us to have life.  It’s not what we experience everyday, which is filled with the deepest temptation for more of that which has no ability to satisfy.

The struggle is real for all of us.  Whether we have a relationship with God or not we all struggle with temptation to fill our own cisterns or maybe drink from another polluted well.  If we are not content in life, if we are forever thirsty, we are drinking from the wrong well.  We are drinking the water that can never satisfy, just like the water at Jacobs well.  

If we are drinking from the wrong cistern, the solution is simple.  Change the well you drink out of.  If you draw near to God, He will draw near to you.  That is his promise to you.  If you fill your heart and mind with what  truly gives life, contentment is promised because God is the God of contentment and satisfaction.  He is holding good things for you and not from you.

A dear friend, Maureen Christansen use to often quote this axiom. “God gave us a determined amount of time on earth and a free will to make choices to enrich or diminish our time on earth.”  We can chose death or life, blessings or curses, it is our choice!  No one else can make those choices for us.  

Today you can choose eternal life. Choose to follow Jesus Christ.  Following Jesus is a constant choice and not a one time decision.  Being a follower of Christ requires the hourly and daily choice to leave the old behind, and reach for God’s promises and blessings.  It is a choice of obedience to the scriptures and not being just being a believer but a follower of Jesus.

Jesus said to Photini, “the water that I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  Water that “springs up” is in reference to an artesian well.  There is no end, and it is always fresh.  If the water you are drinking is stale then you are at the wrong water source.  If you find yourself continually pouring in more water  into the cistern, then it is time to change wells. 

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