Many of us have experienced buyer’s remorse. We have felt a legitimate internal longing; there was something within us that needed resolution. We were dissatisfied and discontent. We then had something pitched to us — material or immaterial — that promised satisfaction, and after consideration we took the bait. We made the investment and for a brief time we were happy and satisfied; all seemed to be well. However, after the temptation, purchase and immediate rush of satisfaction, we found ourselves struggling even more with listlessness, loneliness, boredom, depression, or self-loathing. This was a crazy cycle, and after hundreds of times around the block, we found life almost not worth living. Thoughts of leaving this place more steadily entered our minds. We were miserable individuals, disillusioned and dying of thirst.
Friends, there has been an endless list of suiters promising satisfaction and contentment to us, and they have all promised much more than they could deliver. Here are some examples that have come to mind:
- Take a new job or embark upon a new career and you will be content.
- Self-medicate with this weed, drink, or chemical and peace will come your way.
- Purchase the new self-help series from the hottest motivational speaker; clarity and passion will follow.
- Buy a new house, add an addition, build a pool; you will that which you have been missing.
- Go on a shopping spree; looking good always makes you feel good.
- Save, and invest, for there is a direct correlation between self-worth and net-worth.
- Earn another degree and find value, dignity, and purpose.
- Write a book; that will make you legit as you leave behind a legacy.
- Master a new skill, become an artisan, happiness is found in the arts.
- Add the latest and greatest technology to your life; boredom will flee.
- Get rid of technology and live the simple life; shalom will then be experienced.
- Change churches and watch your issues automatically vanish and your spiritual vitality explode.
- Purchase a fine foreign driving machine; this will let you and others know you have finally arrived.
- Great sex always equals great fulfillment.
- Get married and you will find your Messiah; he or she will provide rest for your soul.
- Trade in your spouse for a better version; this time you will be persistently overjoyed.
- Prioritize external fitness and beauty; depression and loneliness will be things of the past.
- Caribbean vacations equal contentment; come to Sandals and be satisfied.
- Retire and find rest for your weary soul.
Friends, Esau took the bait. He was internally dissatisfied and over-valued the benefits of his brother’s stew. Upon making the deal with Jacob, he did find temporary satisfaction from his vittles. However, after consumption, Esau was even more miserable than he was before. He was temporarily satisfied, but then he was found disillusioned and still dying of thirst.
David saw Bathsheba and gave in to the advise of his loins. He was convinced of his need for a extramarital little fling with this married woman. Exotic sex would add spice to his life, therefore David engage in sinful adultery. And, after his rendezvous was completed, David found himself disillusioned and still dying of thirst.
David’s son, Solomon, penned a piece of wisdom literature outlining all his own foolish attempts to find contentment. Ecclesiastes is his autobiography outlining his many pursuits that brought only temporary satisfaction. Money, projects, promotions, sex, study, servants, limitless hedonism — all left him disillusioned and still dying of thirst.
In John 4, Jesus encountered a woman looking for satisfaction. In his conversation with her, Jesus pointed to the physical water coming from Jacob’s well and said:
Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. (John 4:13-14)
Wisely, the woman said to him:
Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water. (John 4:15)
Perhaps she did not understand the full ramifications of Jesus’ proposal, but the Samaritan woman requested that which only Jesus could provide. She requested that gift from Jesus that would satisfy her internal longings, over and over again, forever. She would not be disillusioned and dying of thirst ever again.
If only Judas would have learned from the Samaritan Woman. He overvalued popularity and silver, and he left this world disillusioned and dying of thirst. As a matter of fact, he still thirsts today.
Where can contentment and satisfaction be found? How can we learn to be like David who said, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing?” How can we be like Paul who said, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every condition?” Aren’t we tired of chasing the persistent high, and aren’t we weary of the lows that follow? How much more can we buy? How much more can we store and hoard? How many more accomplishments must we add to our resume in order to feel at peace with ourselves? How many more men and women will we foolishly trust to lead us down the road of prosperity, pleasure and peace? Sadly, are we not Christians and still we are disillusioned and dying of thirst? What’s wrong?
Struggling friends, we do not need to go anywhere in order to find solace for our souls. Nothing needs to be purchased. Radical life change does not need to be pursued. Another author, speaker, minister, counselor, or series is not that which will satisfy. What we need is the persistent, internal satisfaction that comes from communion with the Holy Spirit. What we need is to spend adequate time with him in prayer; we must pray without ceasing. We will then experience contentment, satisfaction, peace, and joy. We who learn to walk with Jesus in constant prayer will not be disillusioned; we will not be dying of thirst.
However, consider our normal routine. The hymnist presents it well:
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he’ll take and shield thee; thou wilt find a solace there.
Christian friends, we are disillusioned and dying of thirst, and we need not experience such a condition. We have a Father who is satisfied with us. Jesus is intimately watching over us from his throne. He has sent the Holy Spirit to be our constant companion and dwell within our souls. It takes no money to engage in prayer. No change of location is required for us to commune with him. He is ready now to hear us; he is ready to converse with our troubled hearts. He has abundant life ready to be experienced; unfathomable peace is right before us. So let us quit eating the Turkish Delight of this world and finding ourselves persistently frustrated in the end. There is no reason for us to be disillusioned and dying of thirst. Let us go to Jesus — right now! He awaits with fresh water and satisfaction.