“Men are in a restless pursuit after satisfaction in earthly things. They will exhaust themselves in the deceitful delights of sin, and, finding them all to be vanity and emptiness, they will become very perplexed and disappointed. But they will continue their fruitless search. Though wearied, they still stagger forward under the influence of spiritual madness, and though there is no result to be reached except that of everlasting disappointment, yet they press forward. They have no forethought for their eternal state; the present hour absorbs them. They turn to another and another of earth’s broken cisterns, hoping to find water where not a drop was ever discovered yet.”
“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns [wells] that cannot hold water.” Jeremiah. 2:13
I have experienced what it means to be in a restless pursuit of satisfaction; the description that Spurgeon uses is so accurate of those times and how I felt: that unquenchable thirst. I have felt the emptiness, the confusion and the frustration. It is an endless cycle of insanity. It is like drinking salt water waiting for my thirst to be quenched when all I am is thirstier and thirstier. It reminds me of Jesus and the woman at the well. He told her “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.”
“This water”. What is “this water” in my life? It is the desire for more money, more possessions, it is the unhealthy relationships, it is the internet, movies, books and magazines. “This water” is everything in my life that I relentlessly pursue hoping for satisfaction and fulfillment. I have to come back again and again to get more of “this water”. For the woman at the well “this water” was love and relationship addiction- she had 5 previous husbands, and was living with a guy. She had no satisfaction and had to keep going back to find new love. How true this is in all of us. We keep going back again and again to the things that will never satisfy.
Once Jesus revealed to the Woman that it is was only Him who could ever quench that unquenchable place in her, she knew that what Jesus was saying was true. “Leaving her water jar” she went to tell everyone the good news.
I want to leave my water jar, my broken cisterns that have left me hopeless and dry. I want to establish myself at the spring of life, drawing only from its refreshing water. This is only found in the Word and through prayer. Let that be my source for satisfaction and I will leave all other jars by the old, dirty wells.
Charles Spurgeon 1834-1892.