Take the refreshment that is Jesus
Take a drive nearly anywhere, go for a walk, attend a local sporting event, go shopping at the grocery store, worship at any church on any given Sunday… you will find they are always with you.
They are there when you notice them. They are there when you turn away. They are a constant… they are hurting with so much pain. They are us. But you already know that! For we have not lived in a vacuum. Everyday lives are ripped apart by the very things people embrace in the hopes of meeting their needs.
We have watched as some of our own family members have joined their ranks, not knowing what to do or even how to begin. I personally watched as my youngest sister slid into alcoholism and drug addiction. What began as a teenage adventure in partying, mushroomed into her lifestyle. Alcohol gave her the confidence to be more outgoing. Cocaine gave her the boost she needed to face life after a night of drinking. It was a vicious circle. But not at first.
That’s the way it works, getting all cozy with you, entrenching itself within you, wrapping its tentacles around your emotions. In my sister’s case, it brought out her guilt and anger, creating a dynamic that made it very difficult to maintain healthy contact. After many years of being the target of her verbal abuse, I had to stop allowing her drunken calls, which came at all hours. They were always the same, emotionally trying, painful, sad.
There was a time when we held each other as siblings do. We laughed and played, joked and teased, never imagining the ripping away that was on the horizon. My heart hurts… but, I have hope!
Knowing firsthand there is deliverance from that which tortures her. Having fought addiction to prescription barbiturates myself, I have experienced the freedom that comes from the hand of God, as he took away my cravings. Walking day by day, I look to Jesus as He strengthens my resolve to stay upon this path of salvation. For my sister, my prayers for her deliverance from that which blinds and binds her are constant.
There is a song from my childhood my mother often sang in church that plays in my mind, as I think of our need. It is the account of the outcast women at the well, as told in the Scripture in John 4.
In the song, the women is surprised to learn that not only is she known by Jesus, but all of her hurts, all of her needs, all of her doubts, he desires to ease and remove. It is played out as Jesus shows her the love and gives her the hope the religious people of the day have denied her.
Since it is at a well, symbolically it speaks to our thirst for things that don’t quench our real need. With Jesus even telling her that He is the giver of living water. Look with me at John Chapter 4 verse 13: Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
In this we see we have a choice to accept the gift of living water that Jesus offers or something that will just leave us dry. We all have spiritual cups that need to be filled. Where you go for that filling determines that path that you walk. In Christ, the days still bring heartaches and troubles, but to have God Himself by your side as you journey through life is not just a privilege, it is an imperative. At least it is for me. My issues of ego, my lack of trust in people, my un-Godly desires, without Jesus Christ there is no way I could handle them. So, like a child I lift up my cup, that Jesus might clean it out and replace the stagnant worldly muck with crystal clear cool refreshing water, his living water.
Overwhelmingly, people today are looking to things that will never bring them the desire of their heart. They think they will. They’ve been promised they will. Everyone else is doing it. So, they hold up their cups looking for answers and the world pukes in them. And the tragedy is most don’t even realize they’re simply existing on garbage when there is a feast laid out for them. Jesus said, “Come to me, all (that means you) that are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.”
Are you tired. How about weary? Could you use a little rest? What about a cup of refreshing life-giving water? Try Jesus, just ask Him.