Throughout this present season of my life, God has been speaking the word “satisfied” over me again and again. And while spending some time in prayer not too long ago, I kept hearing the words, “You shelter the weary and bring water to the thirsty,” ringing through my ears. He has been reminding me that true satisfaction is not found in the things of this world, but in Jesus – my First Love, my Savior, my Friend.
Time and time again, I find myself at the end of a road after chasing something that I thought would satisfy and fill some void within me, but these kinds of roads, they always have an end. They may satisfy for a while, maybe even for a long-while, but do I want to pour energy and emotion into running down a path that ultimately comes to a finish line with no prize? Or do I want to travel on a road that has no end, that is eternally satisfying, and that leads me forevermore straight into the Presence of Jesus?
For the past couple of months I’ve been regularly attending a small group/Bible study with a group of girls that love the Lord and desire to know Him more. A few weeks ago, we decided to set aside some very intentional time to pray, read the Word, and wait on the Father to speak to us, to speak to our hearts. I believed at the start of this that God was going to do something. But what He did in my heart was absolutely beyond what I could have imagined, and I found myself beyond satisfied.
If you’ve never read Luke 9, you should go do it right now. No, really, it’s definitely worth your time. In this chapter, we read that the disciples were sent out by Jesus to many villages where they preached the Gospel and healed many people (v. 6). Picking up in verses 10-17 (ESV) it says:
On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing. Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.” But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” And they did so, and had them all sit down. And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.
When I read about Jesus heading to Bethsaida, I initially thought that maybe Jesus was trying to retreat from the crowds. Maybe He was trying to get away from them. But when the crowds follow Him, the Scripture says that Jesus welcomed them and healed them! This reminds me of Matthew 7:7-8 which says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” I don’t believe that Jesus was retreating from the crowds for the sake of getting away from them but rather, He was giving the people an opportunity to seek Him. Maybe the reason for Jesus’ retreat was to draw out those who were truly seeking the kingdom and heart of God. Maybe He was drawing out the true worshipers.
And the amazing part about this story? Just like when Jesus said, “seek, and you will find,” the crowds that sought Him, found Him. They were healed. They were fed. They were satisfied.
After reading this passage of Luke, the Lord led me to John 4:13-18 where we can read about Jesus’ encounter with the Samarian woman at the well:
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but 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.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.
In this passage, it’s important to note that while Jesus calls out the Samarian woman’s sin, He is never condemning her. Rather, He calls out her sin so that He can lead her into true satisfaction. When we think of our sin as muddy, dirty water in a bucket, we don’t have room in the bucket to scoop out fresh water from the well unless we empty the bucket first of the sin. When the woman says to Jesus, “Sir, give me this water that I will not be thirsty…” His answer to her simply points out that she cannot receive the Living Water unless she empties her life of her sin. In my own interpretation, Jesus was saying, “Put an end to this sin to make way for what truly satisfies.” Granted, we have no power over our sin except through the blood of Jesus. But when we call upon His name, seeking cleansing, transformation, and forgiveness, He is faithful to do those very works in us.
Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you.
Jesus wasn’t kidding when He said this. He wasn’t yanking our chain. He wasn’t spewing empty words. He was proclaiming the truth of who His Father was, is, and ever will be. He fills every void. He quenches every thirst. He satisfies every hunger and need. He is Jesus, and He is faithful.