13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 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 idea of eating and drinking is fascinating, isn’t it? It’s definitely one of the many pleasures God affords us, but it’s also a universal aspect of life that bridges people of vastly different cultures and language. I count myself a fortunate person having moved to Austin a little over a year ago, where the foodie culture here enjoys nationwide renown for its culinary novelties and international tastes. This is how I know God loves Texas. It’s true.
All joking aside, food and drink also reveal to us how incredibly weak humans are. If we are blessed enough to be able to eat regularly, missing one meal can drive us crazy. If we’re thirsty enough, we’ll dish out the $3 for the overpriced bottle of water at an outdoor event. But the ultimate truth is, if we don’t have food or water, we’ll die.
It’s interesting that God establishes this system of dependence for us, because I wonder if it’s also something that symbolizes how much we desperately need Him. From the two Trees in the Garden of Eden all the way to the first Eucharist in the Gospels, the Bible references eating and drinking because God knows we are creatures in need of provision all kinds, whether physical, spiritual or emotional. But the crazy thing is… His desire is to be our ultimate provider!
In John 4, Jesus tells the woman at the well that the water he offers will create in its drinker a wellspring of eternal life. This is so reminiscent of the words God spoke to Jeremiah: “For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13)
This is an incredible truth. All too often I catch myself attempting this spiritual walk by my own strength, show my own kindness to others, love people with my own love. I can settle for a life hewn by my own hands, but it is so tiring and the inevitable outcome is dryness and tastelessness. But God is offering the abundant life, with complete dependence upon the decadence of who He is, within His vision and will that is so perfect.
Because the follow-up statement that Jesus makes in John 4 is also pretty remarkable. “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.” What shall we eat today, and where will we drink from? We know we need these things to live, but more than that, we don’t want to know life without them. No more junk food—Lord, we want You!
Becki Lee is an eBook developer and native Michiganian who enjoys analogue photography, writing and art. She loves to spend time with the campus ministry at the University of Texas.