A renewed life

There’s something marvelous about watching a parched plant revive with water. Once, when I briefly neglected the one on my kitchen windowsill, I found it limp and drooping. But just a few hours after watering it, I noticed how completely it had recovered, its stems reaching skyward, as though offering praise for the gift of life.

Yet plants, like all of us, “thirst again”—as Jesus once told a woman drawing water from Jacob’s well (see John 4:7–30). Who knows how many times she’d visited that well, seeking liquid life. How many times have all of us thirsted to renew our lives, marking the start to a new calendar year with a reinvigorated dedication to eating better, working out, detoxing, and decompressing?

Though it’s natural to take care of ourselves, what’s ours to embrace—just as it was for the woman at the well—is a renewal far better than changes that never fully satisfy the relentless thirst that says something is missing. Jesus called this gift “living water” and added, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (verse 14, New King James Version). Jesus went on to describe this living water as the understanding that God is Spirit, shifting our perception of the basis of existence from mortality—a well that runs dry—to a revivifying and lasting sense of Life in and of Spirit.

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Learning the not-so-hard way
January 3, 2022

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