If you are like me, I am a person who absolutely loves the grocery store. I could run up a four hundred dollar bill in an hour if I had the money. I guess I just love feeding people. I see the chips, the guacamole and the sliced cheese and start thinking about how many that would feed. There are lots of teenagers around my house these days and they eat a lot! I love pulling into the driveway in my Suburban with the extended cab filled with bags of food to feed family and friends. When I open the door to my house and announce to my three teen-aged kids that I just got groceries, I typically hear a loud energized, “YEEEESSS!” followed by a race to the car and a number of hands pouring into the bags to see if I “got anything good.”
I remember one morning I was at the grocery store and the clerk smiled at me and said, “Congratulations, you have become an elite member of our store!”
“Wow. I said. I can’t believe I won something.” She showed me on the back of the card all the discounts I was entitled to receive. “Awesome,” I said excitedly, “How did I get that?”
The bagger turned to the checker and they exchanged a knowing smile. I wasn’t quite sure what that was all about until another customer who was walking by said, “It means you spend a ton of money at this store.”
“Oh, I get it.” I chuckled to myself. “Of course. That makes perfect sense.” Then I proceeded to ask for help to push my second cart to my car.
There came a time in my life in the past, when I didn’t feel so joyful about going to get groceries. Even with a good job, I was not making ends meet. After an internal struggle with God followed by some tears, I headed to our local food pantry called Manna House. I love this title because in the Bible, Manna was what God used to provide for the Israelites as they made their way through the desert to the promised land of Canaan.
The day I found myself at the food pantry, I realized that I had hit a bottom where I couldn’t provide for myself. But God was there and He had planned provision for me. He knew the state I was in and He used it for His glory. I went inside and met a cheerful teenage girl who volunteered to help me to fill about ten bags of groceries. As I closed the back doors to my Suburban, I felt a great peace fill my heart as I knew I had a full supply of groceries to bring home. I realized that I was only here as a first timer, while many people around me came week after week. I am so glad that God provided his form of manna for me that day. I am glad food pantries like Manna work to provide food to those in need every single day.
I know from reading the Bible that like me, Jesus really enjoyed feeding people too. I am convinced that if he lived on Earth today, He would love a great trip to the grocery store. His miracles referenced in the Bible often included providing food and drink. In his first miracle, he turned the water into wine. He fed the five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish and he shared communion with his apostles breaking bread with them at the last supper.
Yet, in my favorite passage where Jesus refers to eating or drinking, there is no physical food or drink exchanged at all. This story takes place as He has a conversation with the woman at the well. Jesus actually doesn’t give her any food or drink, but he explains to her what kind of water he is capable of offering.
His Word tells us…
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.
“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” –Luke 9:10-13
This reminds me of a favorite song I sang as a child called “Spring up O Well.” It was written by Mary A. Lathbury in the summer of 1880. The chorus declares:
Spring up O well,
Within my soul,
Spring up O well,
And make me whole,
Spring up O well,
And give to me,
That life abundantly.
Thank you for providing our physical needs even when at times we don’t know where they will come from. Thank you for giving us breath and life and the ability to perceive the beauty that is all around us every day. Help your life within us to spring up from places we cannot see.
Help us today to dig deeper and to find the water that only you can provide, water that will sooth our souls and never run dry. Thank you for this amazing miracle of spiritual life that we can possess through you. Continue to fascinate us and cause us to take in the breathtaking wonder of your Holy Spirit’s amazing power.
Help us today to have divine opportunities where we can share this living water with others. We bless you Lord for all that you are and for your living water which is always accessible to us.
Come into our hearts and water our hearts with your love.
In Jesus’ Name,