Filling Jerry Cans

Michelle Christy

Read: John 4:1-30

Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. (v. 14)

One of my first mornings in Kayunga, Uganda, I awaken to the sound of a mob gathering around the town well. Women and children jockey with their plastic yellow jerry cans for a place in line. Jerry cans hold the source and sustainer of life—water! Kayunga has a working well, but not always. Water from a lesser source is better than no water at all, right? For some Ugandans there is no choice. Yet the water source matters. Lesser wells fail to meet people’s needs.

The Samaritan woman has been drawing from Jacob’s well for a long time. That well meets her needs. However, the unusual hour of drawing from Jacob’s well exposes the woman’s isolation and relational brokenness. Jesus draws her in, plumbing the depths to reveal her truest need. The thirsty woman boldly asks for living water. Only Messiah’s water quenches the neglected thirst inside. Now feeling satisfied, the woman drops her jerry can, leaving behind the lesser well. When Jesus sees thirst, he alone can satisfy.

Where might we be filling our jerry can? To what wells do we wander? Any well apart from Christ, the source of living water, really is a lesser well. “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters . . . come, buy and eat! Come . . . without money and without price. Why do you . . . labor for that which does not satisfy?” (Isa. 55:1-2). —Michelle Christy

Prayer: Source of living water, we confess we have frequented lesser wells. Fill us anew today.