Last Words: “I Am Thirsty”

I quite possibly had the best summer job a college student could have. I got paid to get a fantastic tan (and some epic tan lines!). For five summers I worked as a “flower girl” for the University of Wyoming. Our crew would spend a couple weeks tilling several dozen flower beds, an entire month planting over 40,000 annuals, and the next two months of summer tending the beds—all while soaking in the rays. Though summers in Laramie, Wyoming, are hardly hot by most people’s definition (the highest recorded temperature is 94 degrees) and never humid, we flower girls still began our workday pretty early. We would pile into our big brown van at 6 a.m. so that most of our work was done before the hottest part of the day. For that same reason, in the hot desert of the ancient Middle East, women would fetch their water in the cool of the day—not at noon.

With one notable exception. 

We read her account in John 4. Scripture doesn’t give us her name, but we know her story. She was a promiscuous Samaritan woman. She belonged to a race of people hated by the Jews, and her life choices had made her an outcast even among her own people. For this reason she went to the well when no one else was there. But all that changed when she encountered a Stranger at the well. 

“Give me a drink,” the Stranger said. 

The woman couldn’t believe her ears. Was this Jew actually asking her for help? 

The conversation continued for a minute, and then the Stranger said something startling: 

“Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.” (John 4:13–14)

Fast-forward about three years. Now this same Stranger is hanging on a Roman cross, the ultimate symbol of infamy. With what little strength He has left, the Man weakly says, “I am thirsty” (John 19:28 NASB). In an act of mock charity, the Romans give him sour wine to abate His thirst. Just a moment more and this Man’s life will be over. 

As Jesus hung thirsty and dying upon that cross, He was fulfilling every word He spoke to the Samaritan woman, purchasing for her—and us—the water that truly satisfies our every thirst.

He Satisfies Our Thirst for More 

The Samaritan woman knew something about thirst—and not just the kind that sends you to the kitchen for a drink of water. During her conversation with Jesus, the truth about her past came out. She was a divorcee five times over and was currently cohabiting with a man who was not her husband. While we don’t know what led to her divorces, we certainly see a pattern in her life. It seems that she was always looking for the next guy who could give her what she was looking for. When he failed to satisfy her thirst, she would move on to the next. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. 

It may be tempting to stand in judgment of this woman. “How could she?” we ask. “I would never!” we think. But the truth is, we have the same idolatrous, grasping heart that, without Christ, will always be reaching for more of something.

More romance novels.

More shoes.

More carbs.

More caffeine.

More alcohol. 

More money.

More power. 

More . . . more . . . more. 

Like the people of Israel described in Jeremiah 2, we have all abandoned the “fountain of living water.” We have pursued broken cisterns and tried in vain to fill our bucket (v. 13). The bloody Savior hanging thirsty on Calvary took upon Himself our unquenchable thirst for more so that we might find true satisfaction in Him. 

He Satisfies Our Thirst for Rest

What’s your to-do list like? If it’s anything like mine, it stretches out in front of you like an ocean. From chores and errands to projects and social commitments, we all have a lot going on. And even if you don’t have a busy calendar, perhaps you’re weary for different reasons: a baby that hasn’t learned the difference between night and day; aging parents who require much of your attention; a rebellious son or daughter making poor choices; a physical ailment that precludes sleep; financial difficulties that are mounting; fear of the future. Whatever the reason you’re feeling weary today, heed this invitation from the Savior: 

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30)

We all have an inherent thirst for rest, but many of us seem to have an allergy to it as well. Something inside of us whispers, You have to keep going! If you stop, what will happen? Jesus beckons with different words. He promises rest to the weary. Trade in the hard yoke of toil and self-reliance for the easy yoke of a humble and kind Master. This doesn’t mean that He promises a life of ease and comfort to all who submit to His yoke. But He does promise rest. 

Rest in the busy. 

Rest in the hard. 

Rest in the stress.

Rest in mundane.

Rest in the heart-rending. 

The bloody Savior who called out for something to drink took your thirst upon Himself and offers true rest in return.

He Satisfies Our Thirst for Approval and Acceptance

While the thirst for approval is no newer than the desire for more or for rest, it has certainly been exacerbated by social media. Now we approval junkies can have quantifiable evidence of just how approved we are (or aren’t). We can count views, likes, friends, followers, hearts, and tags. We can filter our photos and our lives to take on just the right shade in order to garner the most approval from the right crowd. Teens may experience this pull more acutely than adults, but we old folks are far from immune. We’re just better at masking our struggle. 

We want approval, so we clam up instead of speaking up. 

We want approval, so we avoid biblical confrontation. 

We want approval, so we join in the gossip at work. 

We want approval, so we try another diet to finally be that size. 

We want approval, so we laugh at the off-color jokes. 

We want approval, so we don’t bring up the gospel with our lost neighbors.

Proverbs warns us that the thirst for approval is a trap: “The fear of mankind is a snare, but the one who trusts in the LORD is protected” (Prov. 29:25).

The trap is the lie that approval will actually satisfy your thirst. The truth is that approval is a lot like potato chips: you can’t eat just one. One hit of approval will only leave you thirsty for more. You will never truly be satisfied until you remember the gospel. 

But if you have tasted the living water, you can stop drinking. You are already accepted: “Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us, for the glory of God” (Rom. 15:7 NASB, emphasis added).

This acceptance in Christ means that no one else’s approval is necessary. Your identity is secure, your hope is certain, your thirst is quenched. 

Are you thirsty today? If so, find true satisfaction at the fount of living waters. Perhaps you’ll want to start by drinking in this modern hymn by Keith and Krystin Getty

Looking for more Easter resources? Explore the full page of Easter resources from Revive Our Hearts to find podcasts and articles that will lead you to reflect on the meaning of the cross, the magnificence of Jesus, and the depths of resurrection hope that are yours in Christ. 

About the Author

Cindy Matson

Cindy Matson

Cindy Matson lives in a small Minnesota town with her husband, son and daughter, and ridiculous black dog. She enjoys reading books, drinking coffee, and coaching basketball. You can read more of her musings about God's Word at

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