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by | May 27, 2023 | Desire, Thirst, Trust

“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, “Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”’ Now this He said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:37-39 ESV)

It’s very common for us to feel like something is missing in our lives. We long for something; we know not what—and we can’t really be content or at rest until we find it. And so we look everywhere. We might try pleasure—things like food or drugs or sex or alcohol. But none of that hits the spot. We might try work and power and prestige and fame. We might pour ourselves into our families, hoping to get back from them a kind of love that will leave us feeling whole and comforted. But even the best family can’t be everything to us, and we come up empty again. What are we really longing for?

The African bishop St. Augustine tells us. He says, “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in You” (Confessions Book 1). God has put a thirst for Him into our hearts, and we will never be happy, never truly be at rest, until we come to Him and are satisfied. This is the way God made us. We are meant to live on God and to get our life from Him. Nothing else will do.

And so Jesus calls to us, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'” If you think about it, this is an amazing promise for a simple man to make. What, I can find all my needs and desires met in You, Jesus? You Yourself are enough? How can that be? It can only be true if Jesus is God—God come in human flesh, born among us, living and suffering and dying on a cross for us—yes, and rising again.

That God is enough for us. That God has been through the worst of what this world has to offer, and He still stands before us, holding out joy and satisfaction to us with both hands. “Come to Me,” He says, and we do. “Trust in Me,” He says, and we learn to rest the weight of our hopes and fears on Him—a little more each day—and we find Him faithful. He can handle us, all of us, even the darkest and most broken parts of us, the bits that hurt too much to acknowledge. “I will quench your thirst,” He says. “I will make My Spirit a river of living water flowing out of your heart. You will never be thirsty again. And I will use you to share the water of life with those around you.”

WE PRAY: Dear Lord, give me to drink of Your living water, and use me to bring that water to others, too. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on May 25, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights

Reflection Questions:
1. When were you desperate for something to drink? How did it feel when you finally got what you needed?