Feeling Dry? Part 1
One time when I was a middle schooler in youth group, a friend of mine walked up to me and said, “Your lips are really chapped!” I immediately ran to the nearest bathroom to inspect the damage. She was right! I was done for. No cute girls would talk to me now. Now, for those of who might have forgotten, middle school years are probably the most insecure years of a person’s life. Your body is changing in more ways than one, a boy’s voice is changing to a man’s voice, and on top of it all, the boy now has to tend to his chapped lips. Oh, and did I mention my friend told me this at the beginning of youth group? Now I had to try and worship God with the idea of my lips crumbling into dust and falling off my face. My lips were dry and I needed some chap stick!
However, as I grew up, I discovered chap stick is just a quick fix to an ongoing problem. When chap stick is applied to lips, the brain tells the body to not produce moisture on the skin of the lips because moisture is already being applied. However, the chap stick moisture is temporary, not permanent, so the chapped-lips cycle just continues.
Our hearts can also be “chapped.” Our world is full of quick-fix problems to our dry hearts. Just like applying chap stick, we enjoy the idea of being able to personally apply the solution to our problems. However, while applying chap stick to our lips only impacts our body’s ability to bring moisture to the area, applying spiritual quick fixes to our heart impacts our eternity. Humanity attempts to make sense of life without Jesus by personally filling their God-shaped voids and winding up spiritually dry.
I would like to take you to a passage in the Bible that illustrates this idea. This passage is in the Gospel of John. Now, John was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus and personally witnessed Christ’s ministry here on earth before Jesus ascended into heaven. He wrote his gospel primarily to Hellenists, people belonging to the Greek culture.
Why should you listen to the Bible? If you’re reading this and do not believe in Jesus or have not surrendered your life to him, you’re off the hook. You have the choice to dismiss what we are about to talk about. However, I would implore you to still tune in and listen to the wisdom of Jesus. The rest of us who follow Jesus have to listen to what He says here because we’ve surrendered our choice to Him the moment we surrendered our lives to Him.
In John 4, Jesus and his disciples are traveling to Galilee and decide to go through Samaria. This is significant because normally Jews did not go through Samaria, they would go around. Jews and Samaritans did not engage with one another. Samaritans were part Jew, part Gentile, so the belief at the time was they did not belong to any group but themselves. For a Jew to intermarry with a gentile was signing their funeral service: they were immediately shunned by the Jewish culture.
Jesus and the disciples eventually make it to the town of Sychar in Samaria. Jesus is tired from his long journey and decides to rest next to Jacob’s well. While he is resting, a Samaritan woman approaches the well with the intention of drawing water. Jesus asks her for a drink. She responds, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (vs. 9). Now, we need to remember she was responding out of the cultural norm. Just like we noted before, Jews and Samaritans do not mix. However, her response also revealed a dry heart. Jesus knows this and says, “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” (vs. 10).
The woman gives a response out of her dry heart, leading with her identity: this is who you are, this is who I am. This is not normal and could never happen. Once, when I was in middle school, these two girls said something rather aggressive to me: “Hi, Jonathan.” I was raised in a home where my parents taught me to guard my heart and wait to date. I was paranoid to even speak to a girl. Thus, I didn’t even respond with my name. I just shouted back, “I don’t date!” and walked away. I wanted my identity to be known as the guy who doesn’t date. Today, I am thankful that I guarded my heart, for my wife is the most beautiful woman in the world! However, we should watch how we display our identity to others. I will admit, my response to those girls was a bit hostile and could have been worded differently.
In a similar sense, the woman responds defensively because her heart is dry. In Biblical times, going to a well was a social outing for women. She is alone. No women from her town wanted to spend time with her.
Someone who had tasted Christ’s living water would know to care for the needy and to love your neighbor as yourself. Do you feel alone today? Do you feel dry? Jesus is the only one who will satisfy your thirst.
John 4:13-14- “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.”