Dear Desire of Ev’ry Nation Day 18
Open Your Bible
Psalm 67:1-7, Isaiah 11:10, Micah 4:1-7, John 4:1-26, Matthew 8:5-13
Jesus usually has a way of getting straight to the heart of the matter, doesn’t He? I imagine it was both comforting and perhaps a bit unsettling for those who interacted with Him in the flesh. Sometimes I feel like I’m watching a movie when the audience knows more than the person in the story. Jesus always knows what is really going on. He knows what lies beneath the surface. He knew what Judas was up to during their last dinner together (Matthew 26:21–25). He knew what Nicodemus was searching for when He came asking questions (John 3:1–21). And He knew what this Samaritan woman needed when she went to the well looking for water (John 4:1–26).
She went at midday, so we can probably assume she avoided the more crowded morning and evening times. Nevertheless, she needed water, so even if she wanted to avoid the man already there, she had to get what she went for.
But Jesus knew what she’d long been looking for (spoiler: it wasn’t actual water), and He also knew all the ways she had tried to find it herself. He knew all the places she had run trying to satisfy the deepest desires of her heart, all the other proverbial wells she had visited for respite. As He stood, telling her about living water, she was still missing the full extent of what He was offering. If she knew, she might never settle for less than that again.
“If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you,
‘Give me a drink,’ you would ask him,
and he would give you living water.”
Jesus’s interaction with this Samaritan woman offers us such a vivid picture of what we are reflecting on this Advent season. All of us are longing for something. Stability. Love. Fulfillment. Comfort. Relief. We have desires for those longings to be satisfied, those dreams to become reality. And I would venture to guess that some of those feel like a “not yet” for you. But the beauty of Jesus’s first coming as a baby in Bethlehem is that we have a Savior who has come near to us, right in the midst of our deepest desires. He has seen us, and He has come close, offering us living water when we didn’t even know that’s what we needed.
Just as Jesus offered an unlikely woman what she really needed (but maybe not what she thought she wanted), He offers you and me the same thing. And in offering it to us, we get to offer it to the world. Because only God knows what the world is longing for and who they really need. Only He knows the desire of every nation—of men and women down the street and around the world. He knows that we are all prone to look in the wrong places and to the wrong people to satisfy what we really desire. Just like the outcast Samaritan woman looking for water, we, too, are looking for something more. We are dry and thirsty, and yet we are quick to settle for the closest water source that will leave us thirsty all over again.
So this Advent season, may you drink deeply from the wellspring of life—the very spirit of God.