by Kelly Givens
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:13-14
The last time I visited Washington D.C., a lot of construction was going on at the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool. It was no sight worth seeing - all that was there was dry concrete and construction cones. But after nearly two years and $34 million worth of renovation, the pool was finally filled and ready to be enjoyed by tourists once again. Unfortunately, less than a month after reopening, the pool was no longer reflecting. Instead, it was full of algae. Visitors described it as similar to “split pea soup.” Disgusting! You would never know all the money and time that went into renovating it.
I can’t help but see a similarity between the reflecting pool and our own hearts. We so often put on our “Sunday best,” attended every church function, volunteer and do ministry in order to fix ourselves and mask our sin problems, but no matter what we do, eventually our algae-like sin comes back.
Algae can grow easily in the reflecting pool because it is shallow and small. Likewise, sin keeps growing when we draw from our own shallow and small resources to fix ourselves up. But the resources Jesus has to offer are better than ours - when we let him fix us, we are drawing from deep, pure water brimming with eternal life.
Jesus says that when we drink of the water he gives, that it becomes in us “a spring welling up to eternal life.” What does that mean? I imagine it’s like God going to the reflecting pool in D.C. and carving out a pool so deep, vast and pure that no algae could ever form. It’s nothing man could ever make, but the solution is permanent and beautiful.
Without Christ, we’re incapable of changing. We can buy all the self-help books, practice all the latest “live your best life” tricks and tips and do every good Christian thing there is to do, but if we are drawing on our own abilities instead of God’s, we will never stop growing sin. Thankfully, Christ has offered us a solution that will be killing the sin in us. It’s himself - the spring of eternal life.
Intersecting Faith and Life: Reflect on your past week - how often have you tried to cover up or fix your sin by putting on a smile and doing a lot of good deeds? Remember, it’s not about what you do; it’s about what Christ has done. We can never do enough renovations on our lives to fix our sin, and that’s okay, because through Jesus our sins are pardoned and we’re invited to drink his water of eternal life.
The Characters of Christmas is a podcast created to help you take a fresh look at the Christmas story by getting to know the minor characters that played a part in Jesus’ birth. It is the companion to Dan Darling's book "The Characters of Christmas: The Unlikely People Caught Up in the Story of Jesus."