“I feel empty.” Have you ever admitted that to someone? Or just uttered it to yourself? I have! While I don’t know for sure, it’s probably a pretty common human experience. Why?
There’s a story recorded in the New Testament that tells us why. It was the middle of the day and Jesus was thirsty so he stopped by a water well to take a break and get a drink. While he was there, a woman came to the well to draw some water. It’s at that moment Jesus engages her in a conversation in which he says some remarkably profound things. Let’s pick up the conversation:
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give will never be thirsty” (John 4:13-14).
That sounds really good! Drawing water from a well and lugging it back to the village is back-breaking labor. So her response is very logical:
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water” (John 4:15).
That’s what I would have said! “Give me this water you speak of!” Look at how Jesus responds:
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.”
What? I don’t follow. She asked Jesus for the water that gets rid of thirst. He responds by telling her to go get her husband. Um…
The woman answered him, “I have no husband.”
Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband;’ for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband.”
What’s going on here? Why has this conversation changed subjects from water to husbands? That’s the profound thing about it. The conversation hasn’t changed subjects.
Jesus is saying this woman is thirsty; she’s empty. Why? She's trying to satisfy her thirst with romance. She’s looking for peace and rest and contentment in romantic relationships. Because she’s gone through five men and is now on her sixth, Jesus is saying her thirst won’t be quenched this way. She’s empty because she asking the wrong things to give her what only Jesus can give her.
One reason you feel empty is that you’re asking romantic relationships to do for you what only Jesus can do.
One reason you feel empty is that you’re asking your career to do for you what only Jesus can do.
One reason you feel empty is that you’re asking money and possessions to do for you what only Jesus can do.
One reason you feel empty is that you’re asking human approval to do for you what only Jesus can do.
Come to Jesus! He is the only water that can truly quench your thirst!