God is the giver and sustainer of life. To search for significance or purpose in life from any other source is to invite certain disappointment. To quote Saint Augustine: “Our heart is restless until it finds it rest in Thee.”
In John 6:35-51, a crowd of people who had been among the 5,000 Jesus fed with the five loaves and two fish traveled across the Sea of Galilee searching for Him. When they found Him, Jesus took the opportunity to teach them that life held more importance that just full stomachs. Pursuing temporal satisfactions masked the emptiness of their souls, and the truer and deeper satisfaction they needed was that which only He could give – the gift of eternal life. Like ancient Israel receiving manna in the wilderness, the provision of a temporal need by God was meant to point to Him as the supplier of the deepest needs. Physical food nourishes only for the moment, because even eating the “bread of angels” (Psalm 78:25) sustains for just a short time.
One day, Jesus met a woman at a well in Samaria (John 4) who was looking for happiness through relationships with men. But her relationships had failed her. Her life was empty and unsatisfied. She was a woman with a “reputation.” Richard Blanchard captured her experience and compared it to ours in his Gospel hymn, “Fill My Cup, Lord.”
Like the woman at the well, I was seeking for things that could not satisfy.
And then I heard the Savior speaking: “Draw from My well that never shall run dry.”
The woman in Samaria had come to the town well to draw water at a time when most everyone else would not be there. In her shame and emptiness, she did not want to face the scorn of others. When Jesus asked her to dip him a drink of water, she questioned why a Jewish man would even speak to her. In reply, Jesus showed her that meeting temporal needs does not address the deepest issues of life. He, however, could provide that which would quench the hunger and thirst in the depths of her soul forever.
There are millions in this world who are craving the pleasures earthly things afford.
But none can match the wondrous treasure that I find in Jesus Christ my Lord.
People are no different today. We are bombarded by hundreds of advertisements daily that promise happiness and fulfillment through the purchase or use of some product. Who has not in some way at some point in life not “sipped” the water of the “pleasures earthly things afford” only to discover that it does not satisfy? What was true for the crowd in Galilee and for the woman in Samaria is true for us today: nothing “. . . can match the wondrous treasure that I find in Jesus Christ my Lord.”
So, my brother if the things this world gave you leave hungers that won’t pass away,
My blessed Lord will come and save you if you kneel to Him and humbly pray.
Sharing the message of Christ with others has been described as “one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.” We each know people for whom the things of this world have left “. . . hungers that won’t pass away,” You and I have a circle of influence – a “personal mission field” – where people just like the woman at the well are trying to quench deep longings from shallow sources. They need to know about Jesus, and we need to be the ones to tell them. And may our sharing be always from hearts full and refreshed by the bread and water of life that comes only from our Lord Jesus Christ.
Fill my cup, Lord; I lift it up, Lord! Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more. Fill my cup; fill it up and make me whole!
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