If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water (John 4:10).
If you knew the gift of God . . . he would have given you living water.
Jesus’ words pierce me to the heart. I like to think that I know God. I am a Catholic lay missionary, after all, raised by faithful Catholic lay missionaries. I have read the entire Bible multiple times, I pray every day, I know with my head and usually with my heart that God loves me.
And then . . . something scary or difficult happens. Instead of knowing the gift that God is, instead of asking him for the living water of peace and joy and trust, I try to get my own water. I grasp for peace with my own understanding, and I feel so thirsty all the time.
Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:14).
I stare at my phone, facts about the coronavirus outbreak popping up faster than I can read them. Nothing I read gives me the peace I desire. I worry about my precious adult daughter living in New York City. My sweet two-year-old daughter snuggles up beside me. Her lungs, sticky with cystic fibrosis, particularly vulnerable to this relatively unknown threat. I feel afraid.
I prepare myself with disinfectant, research best hand washing practices. Consciously desiring to act out of prudence and not fear, I follow the recommendations of reliable sources – the CDC, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – and nothing more. I don’t, for example, move to a deserted island or pull my kids out of school. Instead, I thirst for peace.
I need living water. I need Jesus, his words, his presence, his truth.
If you knew the gift of God.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:27).
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
In the adoration chapel, I give it to him. In his presence, I ask him to remind me. I ask to know him more. I am able to lay down my fears. Peace comes over me.
. . . they invited him to stay with them
and he stayed there . . .
His constant presence is the living water that I need when anxieties about my children threaten to overwhelm me. He is always here.
An old friend once taught me to “Breathe in Jesus. Breathe out everything else.” I breathe him in deeply throughout my day. As long as I do, I am at peace. I practice drinking the living water of his presence. I will never thirst.