I have to confess I desire worldly success. After years of mothering, homeschooling, homemaking, I’d love to do something ‘significant’ and maybe even get a paycheck. Even though I know better, I’m tempted to believe worldly success will make me feel valuable.
I have friends in the homeschool community who would say I have been successful—my children graduated and are self-sufficient and serving Christ. My husband would say all the years I worked in our home were significant and invaluable.
Why do I struggle with feelings of dissatisfaction?
Gretchen Saffles would say, when we look to broken wells to quench our desires, we come up empty. In her book, The Well-Watered Woman, she takes readers to John chapter four, where Jesus initiates a conversation with a woman at a well in Samaria.
Jesus said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water…Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:10, 13-14 (NIV)
Jesus is the source of living water, satisfying water, eternal life-giving water. All other sources will make us thirst again—our desires will not find satisfaction in anything else. We were made to find our contentment and our life in Christ because he created us so.
The Samaritan woman sought fulfillment in relationships with men—one after another—and ended up an outcast, forsaken, alone. Then, Jesus reached into her life and heart and gave her forgiveness, hope, and purpose. She raced back to her village and told them all about Jesus and in the following days many believed in Christ.
Where do you seek to quench your thirst?
Achievement? Fame? Fortune? Influence? Relationships? Appearance? Social Media standing?
These are empty, broken wells, which will never bring contentment.
“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 (ESV)
I know in my heart, only the recognition of God satisfies, his estimation of me is the one that matters. The task he calls me to today is his will. So, I forsake my broken well of worldly success and place my heart and my life in Christ again. Setting my focus on knowing Jesus and making him known to those he places in my path.
For his glory and my joy! I am content. Amen.
Saffles, Gretchen, and Ruth Chou Simons. The Well-Watered Woman: Rooted in Truth, Growing in Grace, Flourishing in Faith. Tyndale Momentum, the Tyndale Nonfiction Imprint, 2021.