I have a cat named Mr. Knightly. He stays in the basement since we have friends who are allergic. Once the cat hears me in the kitchen preparing breakfast, he meows at the door, begging for food. He prefers his dish full, not half empty, and never just enough to cover the bottom. I suspect he finds it unpleasant to stick his head into the dish. He knows I’m a constant source of food and attention, so he demands a lot.
Since my husband likes breakfast before he leaves for work, I complete his breakfast before I tend the cat. Some mornings Mr. Knightly’s constant cry annoys me. After all, he’s not going to starve. There’s always food in his dish.
I’ve often wondered if God gets weary of my constant cries for help. Certainly he’s provided the Holy Spirit to stay with me and Scripture is full of his promises. So how does he feel when I run to him with every whim? Then I found this:
John 7:37 - 38 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'"
It’s easy to miss the message without a little background. The Jewish people completed a celebration called the Feast of the Tabernacles. During that festival, a priest took water from the pool of Salome and poured it into the laver. On the last day of the feast— the day Jesus spoke these words—the clergy omitted that ritual. In that setting, Jesus cried out to anyone who might be thirsty. His invitation is to come and drink. However, in the English you miss the verb tense. Both ‘come’ and ‘drink’ are present imperative in the Greek, which commands continuous and repeated action.
In essence, Jesus informs the hearer that he’s sufficient for every need—anytime. Yes, he offers salvation, but more than that, he possesses the ability to fill whatever we lack. For the believer who finds himself in an impossible situation, Christ can offer guidance. For the broken hearted, he can heal and encourage. For the lonely, he can provide companionship and comfort. Nothing can deplete his infinite riches.
Notice the next phrase. The Greek verb there indicates the believer’s continually trusting Christ. Jesus says ‘out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ The Savior supplies every necessity, so you can overflow into the lives of those around you because of the indwelling spirit of God.
Jesus doesn’t grow weary like I do with my quirky cat. He’s thrilled when we approach him, even if it’s something small. He wouldn’t be angry if we prayed, “Lord, my dish isn’t full. Could we talk?” He wants you bubbling over so you can minister to others. Does your soul ache? Are you hurting? Do you feel inadequate? Run to the open arms of Jesus. He’ll welcome you and provide whatever you need.
Cynthia L Simmons and her husband, Ray, have five children and reside in Atlanta. She has taught for over twenty years as a homeschool mother and Bible teacher. Active in Christian Authors Guild (CAG), she conducts writing workshops and has served as president, vice president, and conference director. In December 2009 the membership granted her Life Time Membership for her numerous contributions to writers. “Cindy” is fond of history and writes both historical fiction and nonfiction. Her writing appeared in CAG publications, NATHHAN NEWS, Chattanooga Regional Historical Magazine, Georgia Right to Life Newsletter, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Catholic Exchange, and Christian Devotions.us. Her first book, Struggles and Triumphs, came out in 2008. While promoting her book, she had interviews on radio and TV across the nation and was nominated for 2008 Georgia Author of the year. She also conducts monthly podcasts called CAG Spotlight in which she interviews authors and VIPs in the writing industry. At present she is completing a twelve week Bible study using the stories in Struggles and Triumphs.