In our wonderful city of Cypress, California we have recently seen two new eating establishments open their doors. Both took over fledgling restaurants and both fixed up and redesigned the old enterprise with new paint, new logos, and new kinds of food. One transitioned a taco/burrito shop and made it into a burger joint. The other took over a kind of sandwich outfit and made it into a hotdog place. The delight of new food ventures brought excitement and anticipation of some fun new eats in town and anticipation of more thriving business in our fine city.
Now both these eateries have some similarities as mentioned above, and also, they are both not part of a chain or franchise. They both serve more than burgers and dogs, and they both are located on the same street within two miles of each other. However, though they alike in many ways, I have been noticing something very different with these two places. Last night we happened to drive by them both and one was packed and the other actually had not a single customer inside! One is the talk of the town, excellent food, great variety, fun joyful staff, and even at a reasonable price. I heard one person say it was ‘a good satisfying meal and experience’ and customers have been spreading the news and bring in their friends and family.
The other place has struggled to get people in the door (maybe it’s their scary logo!?!), and those who like taking the risk of being the first to try something new, experienced nothing to rave about; a limited menu with disappointing and subpar food, slow service, distracted workers, and a higher than average price. This is a place that, though you can get your fill, it was not a satisfying or fulfilling experience, and you would be hard pressed to encourage your family or friends to go there.
As I thought about these two places I thought about that quest of life in seeking out that which really satisfies. Just like we want that fulfilling and rewarding meal from a restaurant, we want life experiences to be fulfilling and satisfying. Well Jesus encountered a woman in John 4 that evidently was trying to find fulfillment in life with the man she was living with (she had actually been through a few men), yet her strategy was not working. You could imagine of lack of fulfillment she might be experiencing, let alone the emotional turmoil of a number of failed or ended relationships. It was like she had gone to that fledgling restaurant, and though she had something, it was nothing to rave about. Her experiences may have even brought a bit of shame and frustration in life. Ever feel that way? I know I have. I think that this one thing, this one experience will bring me that feeling of life-fulfillment or joy or satisfaction. Yet I take it in, and sure it may be an experience, but it’s not substantial, satiating, or nourishing to my soul. Have you ever felt that way?
Well Jesus invited this woman and us to drink in faith in Him:
John 4:13-14 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 of water welling up to eternal life.”
To drink in Jesus is to believe; to accept, to trust and treasure Jesus in life. To drink in Jesus is to place a high value on Him as the key and sole influencer of our soul/life. Jesus put it another way:
John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty.
In other words, we will find that satisfaction for life in Jesus when we believe in Him. Now belief is not just a knowledge or just learning. Belief involves a shifting of allegiance and trust for life from anything or anyone else but Jesus.
Psalm 9:10 Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You.
Psalm 13:5 But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation.
Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
It’s growing in our understanding of who Jesus is and believing/trusting in Him, that Jesus is enough, and that Jesus is that meal that satisfies.
The question is, is He? Is Jesus that source of sufficiency for life? I know for me when I try to find fulfillment in life from anything else, it just does not satisfy. If you read on in John 4, it seems this woman found what her life longed for in Jesus. She was so excited about Jesus, she ran and told her whole town and they came out and found that same experience in Jesus and many believed in Jesus.
Just something to think about as I head out to that wonderful restaurant. I think I will have the pastrami this time!
Finding Sufficiency in Jesus With You,