Jesus is Our Living Water: The Only One Who Can Fill Us Up

Originally published Monday, 23 April 2018.

Excerpted from Everyday Holy, Zondervan, April 2018, by Melanie Shankle.

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” JOHN 7:37–38

Last weekend Caroline had a soccer tournament in Houston, and we knew she’d play at least three games in the heat and the humidity that is Houston’s trademark. Ever wonder what would happen if you put a swamp inside of an oven? Just visit Houston in the summertime and you will find out.

I’ve been a soccer mom for almost ten years at this point, so I know that hydration is key. You have to hydrate before you play in that kind of heat, and that means you have to start drinking plenty of water at least twenty-four hours ahead of the first game time, if not sooner. So I spent all weekend reminding Caroline, “Stay hydrated!” “Don’t forget to drink your water!” “Did you finish that bottle of water?” Then she’d look at me, unscrew the lid to her water bottle, and take one tiny sip because she likes to see if my head will actually spin off my neck.

But the thing I know about hydration is you have to stay on top of it if you want to be at your peak performance level at game time. Once you realize you’re not hydrated enough and start to cramp, it’s too late. You’re essentially done for the weekend at that point because your body can’t really make up the deficit no matter how much you drink. You have to prepare ahead of time. And so I have just accepted that I will spend two-thirds of my life reminding my daughter to “Hydrate! You have to hydrate!”

What dawned on me this past weekend is that our relationship with Christ is a lot like being hydrated for a soccer game. We need to be in daily communication with Him through reading our Bible and praying because that is what fills us with His love and his power. When we are full of God’s love, we are living our life at peak performance because we are looking for ways to be His hands and feet right where we are.

There have been times in my life when I get too busy, too distracted, or just tired of spending time with Him. I let myself get depleted, and then when a challenge comes or a hard time hits, I don’t have any reserves to draw from, and so I find myself drained and scared and tired. Jesus is our Living Water. He is the only thing that can truly fill us up and help us live the life He intended us to live. And when we continually allow that Living Water to be our focus, we can’t help but let it overflow to those around us. We weren’t made to operate from a place of depletion, and He is always waiting, ready to fill us up, and He’s the only thing that can satisfy every hope, dream, or longing we have in our hearts.

Excerpted from Everyday Holy, Zondervan, April 2018, by Melanie Shankle.

Melanie Shankle writes regularly at The Big Mama blog and is the New York Times bestselling author of three previous books, including Church of the Small Things and Nobody’s Cuter than You. Melanie is a graduate of Texas A&M and loves writing, shopping at Target, checking to see what’s on sale at Anthropologie, and trying to find the lighter side in every situation. Most of all, she loves being the mother of Caroline, the wife of Perry, and the official herder of two wild dogs named Piper and Mabel. The five of them live in San Antonio, Texas.