My Stream of Living Water


The Longing

Since I am single, I am tempted to believe that if or when I marry, my husband will fill the gap of loneliness in my heart. Does a husband help? Of course! God designed marriage so that people could live in life-long intimacy with each other. But is marriage the answer? No; an imperfect man could never be all that I long for. Not only is he himself broken and sinful, but he is also seeking to fill a space in his own heart. This is not selfish, but part of being human. We all long to be known and loved more deeply than any human being is capable of.

In John 4, Jesus talks to a woman who has gone from man to man, relationship to relationship, seeking to fill that desire. Rather than shame her, He tells her that “whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Jesus does not have a gap in His heart to fill, no emptiness within Himself, no area of lack. He overflows with laughter, peace, contentment, and joy. He perfectly contains every fruit of the Spirit in abundance. He’s one of those people who asks how you’re doing, and wants the long version. His pinky holds more kindness than our entire world does. He asks what we want, but with a twinkle in His eye, knowing He has far better in store. He is the living water we crave.

The Pain of Hope

And yet, satisfaction is rarely our experience. “Just love Jesus more” sounds great, but reality is not that simple. In Psalm 46, David describes himself as thirsting for God as “a deer pants for streams of water”. I find that, as I say no to my idols, the desire can actually get worse before it gets better. It’s hard saying no to substitutes. It’s hard sitting in that gap between wanting more and not yet feeling perfectly God’s love. But as C. S. Lewis says in his book, Surprised by Joy, this is “an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction”.

I can attest to this. My friends have often asked for my secret to surviving that feeling of loneliness, and it is this: I sit in that space, that tension of sorrow and joy - I sit in hope.

To fully experience this, we must have both solitude and community. In solitude, we let God into the depths of our heart and soul. In community, we slowly unfold the layers of who we are, becoming more and more vulnerable with those we trust. Having both of these gives us a true taste of heaven: the place where our hearts will finally be whole - fully known, fully loved - where streams of living water overflow. Let us taste now, letting it brush through our fingertips, knowing that soon, there will be so much more.

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