John 7:37-38

We encounter many different types of people every day. Some of them leave us an impression and some, we just forget.

An encounter with Jesus, however, leaves everlasting marks on thousands and millions lives.

And now, we want to talk about a sensation called “thirst”. On a hot summer day, we may often experience physical thirst. Extreme thirst makes us feel drained and exhausted. Nonetheless, a glass of cool water can sufficiently quenched the thirst in us.

There is a deeper sense of thirst, however, which is more difficult to quench: thirst at heart.

Thirst at heart: A deep sense of thirst for something

Thirst at heart is equally draining and exhausting as physical thirst. However, water is not enough to quench this “thirst at heart”.

Different people may have different thirst at heart. Some thirst for love. Some thirst for acceptance. Some thirst for recognition. Some thirst for purpose. Some thirst for security. These thirsts live deeply in our hearts. These thirsts can drain life out of us. Sometimes, they hurt so badly and leads to exhilarated pain.

Many people spend most of their lives and energy to find way to satisfy their “thirst at heart.” People try to stop the thirst by working harder, trying harder. If we thirst for relationship, we try harder to make friends. If we thirst for recognition, we study harder or work harder for achievements.

Even though the thirst may stop for a while, it comes back again in full force. It is an endless cycle of thirst.

Thirst in the wilderness

In Exodus, while the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness, they experienced an never-ending thirst. They grumbled to God and doubted God for His goodness.

God responded to their grumblings and doubts, by showing how He quenched their thirst in a lifeless place.

“And the Lord said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.” (Exodus 17:5-6)

In the wilderness, out of a lifeless rock, God gave His people living water.

Thirst at Jesus Time

During the time of Jesus, the Israelites were facing more than just a physical thrist. They longed for a nation, for an identity and for a home. In the Feast of Tabernacle, when God’s deliverance was celebrated, Jesus responded to their “thirst at heart”.

John 7:37-38

“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.’”

Jesus was calling to those who are “thirst at heart.” Whoever come to Him and open their hearts to Him, Jesus promises rivers of living water in their lives.

It is everlasting, powerful rivers of life in our hearts. It may not be some physical items which only satisfy your needs for a moment, but a deep satisfaction and security in God Himself. It is a promise that Jesus, the True Living Water, lives in you from now to eternity.

With Jesus, you do not need to seek everywhere for ways to stop the pain of thirst. You do not need to be hindered by the thirst anymore. You can live freely in God.

Jesus’ invitation

And Jesus did not state any criteria on your part. The only thing you need to do is say “yes” to Jesus, give Jesus a chance in your life.

Reflection questions:

What is / are your “thirst at heart”? Is there anything that you are craving for?
What have you done to satisfy these thirsts or cravings?
Do you want to encounter Jesus and let Him quench these thirsts in you?