by Pastor Reid Matthias
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Let anyone who is thirsty, come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, rivers of living water will from within them (John 7:37b,38).
Read John 7:37–52
In David James Duncan’s book Brothers K, the protagonist quotes his mother, saying, ‘Sometimes you find yourself standing knee deep in the river of forgiveness and dying of thirst’.
Have you ever stood in that river as I have?
It feels like this is the river of living water that Jesus speaks about when standing in front of the crowds at the Festival of Tabernacles. Proclaiming at the top of his voice to the Pharisees, the chief priests, the Jews – anyone with ears – Jesus shouts aloud his understanding of the human heart and our desperate longing to be connected to something greater than ourselves. If only those people could have seen Jesus as the conduit of the Holy Spirit – the quencher of thirst and fire – then those hearing him might have bent down to drink that life-giving water and experienced rejuvenation.
Instead, the Pharisees, the chief priests, the Jews – anyone with ears – began arguing with each other about who Jesus really was. Whether the Prophet or the Messiah, the people bitterly disputed who they thought he was with who he really was. So they were divided and missed out on the thirst-quenching life in the Spirit.
Now, has life turned up the temperature on you? Are you dehydrated? Are you thirsty?
If you’re like me, sometimes I feel dizzied by the constant whir of life and find my mind saying, ‘If I could just do this or feel that, or if Jesus could just take this or give that’, then I would be satisfied. But that kind of thinking is like standing knee-deep in the water. What Jesus offers is something greater – the Holy Spirit – which quenches those daily brushes with the heat exhaustion of life and brings peace.
Take a drink.
You’ll feel better.
Holy Spirit, flow deep within me as I find life within you. Thank you for quenching the deepest desires of my soul. Amen.
Reid Matthias is the school pastor at St Andrews Lutheran College in Tallebudgera, Queensland. Reid is married to Christine, who is part of the Grow Ministries team. Together, they have raised three incredible daughters, Elsa, Josephine and Greta. Dedicated to the written word, Reid has recently published his fourth novel, Blank Spaces, maintains the blog ireid.blogspot.com and regularly contributes to The Lutheran magazine.