“Jesus answered, ‘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 4:12-14
Victor Krutko came to Moody Bible Institute from Minsk, a town in Belarus. This gifted, passionate pastor and I have become good friends. I’ll never forget an episode with him as we were traveling through Belarus visiting some of his work. God had used him to start a Bible school and seminary in his home country, and his influence had sparked the planting of more than 100 churches in the region. But the most special moment of the trip came when we went to visit Victor’s mom.
Our trip to meet this dear woman took us 40 miles outside of Minsk, down a rutted track with weeds sprouting up in the middle of the lane. Passing ramshackle shanties as we entered this backwater village, we pulled up in front of one of the shanties to be greeted by a beaming, ruddy-faced woman in her late 70s—Victor’s mother! With a babushka scarf wrapped around her head, she bustled us inside saying, “Come in, come in!”
We picked our way past the outhouse and through a meager garden. I pointed out the pig to Victor, and he said, “Oh yes, she raises the pig in the summer and eats it in the winter.” The vegetables from the garden were her only other means of sustenance.
Inside the two-room shanty was a kitchen featuring a little table. A sheet divided the other room into a bedroom and a sitting room. As Victor’s mom fed us cucumbers and tomatoes for lunch, she couldn’t stop beaming. Initially, I thought that her unbridled enthusiasm was because her boy, Victor, had come home. But it soon became apparent that her contagious joy was not just about Victor but also about another man in her life, Jesus! As Victor translated, all she could talk about was Jesus—how much she loved Him, how much He loved her, how much she couldn’t wait to get to heaven to see and be with Him. This woman, who had very few material possessions, had all that she needed because Jesus had clearly become a well of living water flowing in her heart.
This visit prompted a reality check in my heart about how addicted we are to the thought that having more in our material world is where joy is found. It’s not that we don’t want Jesus. It’s just that we act like He’s not enough. We’re really glad to have Jesus, but we feel that what we really need is a spiffier set of golf clubs, a newer car, a bigger home, or at the very least a new shirt or pair of shoes. It’s not that having those things is necessarily wrong; it’s just that believing that they will satisfy is a wrong thought.
Which reminds me of another woman. When Jesus sat down next to a Samaritan woman by a well, He initiated a conversation by discussing a material need: “Would you give me a drink?” Then, lovingly, He steered the conversation through territory that explored the many ways that this woman had tried to satisfy her own emptiness, including failed relationships, illicit pleasures, and empty religiosity. Then He made this staggering offer: If anyone comes to Him for satisfaction, they will find their deepest needs and longings met.
So, how about you? Instead of seeking to satisfy your life with stuff, will you turn your heart to Jesus and receive His eternally thirst-quenching, soul-satisfying gift of living water? If so, you will experience the deep, genuine joy that captured the heart of Victor’s mom and the woman at the well.
Try as you might, you can’t do any better than Jesus!
- Have you received the gift of Christ’s living water? If not, ask Him to come into your life today.
- Are you experiencing the satisfaction of Jesus’ living water, or do you find yourself seeking satisfaction in other possessions and pursuits?
- Victor’s mom was satisfied by Christ, because her heart, passions, and thoughts were set on Him. How can you focus your thoughts and desires on Him today?