Trading Good for Life Giving?

John Hill

"Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water…Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 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.”  John 4:10 & 13-14 (NIV)

I was recently at the park with my dog on a Friday morning (as I usually am) and we were playing her favorite game: fetch.  My dog’s version involves two balls that I throw, one at a time, anywhere from 20-40 yards away.  She runs with a passion after the first ball and when she gets it, she flings her body around so that she can see me and I throw the second ball.  Once she has chased down the second ball, she comes back to the first and, amazingly, puts them both in her mouth and finds the nearest shade.  At that point, I have to walk to where she is and wait for her to drop one of the balls so that we can repeat the process all over again.  My dog can play fetch for literally hours on end.

On this particular Friday morning, it was one of those days that were going to be overbearingly hot; so much so that even at 8:00 in the morning it was hot enough already that my dog was panting after just a half an hour of her favorite activity.  I naturally wanted her to stay hydrated so I took her to a nearby water fountain and motioned for her to drink which she understood, but she began to whine.  I couldn’t figure it out until I realized that she was faced with a dilemma that hot day.  She had to decide whether to hold on to her balls, or let them go and trust that they would still be available after she took a drink.  In other words, she had to consider giving up something which was good (her balls), for something that was life-giving (the water).

In John 4, there was a woman who had an encounter with Jesus while she was attempting to draw water from a well.  As they interacted, Jesus confronted her with a choice that would prove life-changing.  He challenged her to drink water that she did not see, but could give to her eternal life.  The only requirement to receive the gift Jesus offered to the woman was that she would have to give up something.

That same challenge is offered to each of us.  God calls on us to consider if we are holding on to things, relationships, philosophies, or even religious rituals which may even be good, but may be keeping us from experiencing the genuine life change that God offers through our relationship with Him.  And He promises that if we are willing to let go and trust Him with those things, we will not be disappointed.

My dog finally realized that it was worth it to risk letting go of her favorite toys so that she could experience the life-giving water that her body desperately needed.  Will you, too, trust God with that which may mean the most to you so that He can refresh your soul and infuse you with the life-giving presence of His Spirit?

Pray that God may reveal to you any areas of your life that are either hidden from Him, or that you may be holding back from Him and determine today that you are going to entrust those things to God’s care and embrace that which is life-giving and eternal.


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