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Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, USA, is one of the most stunningly beautiful natural places in the United States (and also, one of my favorites!) Cascade Canyon heads up into the Cathedral Group, where this shot was taken.
I was very hard pressed for time while in the Tetons, and shooting in the sharp summer daylight was also a challenge, so I didn’t get many opportunities to photograph the beautiful scenery. However, I’m very thankful to have gotten this shot, which is one of my favorites.
Whenever I look at it, this photo reminds me very much of the Scripture found in John 4:1-26. In this passage, Jesus penetrates very deeply into a woman’s heart to expose the one thing all of us have in common and the one thing all of us want to deny: a gnawing, inner emptiness within our souls that we cannot fill.
Most of us don’t know why this mysterious void exists in our hearts, neither can we figure out how to fill it. We constantly try one thing or another to make the aching emptiness go away, but it’s never a permanent fix; we always have to keep going back for more. And even when we finally possess the one thing that we think will satiate our inner thirst, we find that it doesn’t, and we’re still just as empty and thirsty as before. So what is this inner void???
Jesus identifies it plainly in this passage: a lack of a personal, intimate relationship with God. Only as we enter into a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ does this inner emptiness finally and fully go away. As we drink him in, his immense love satiates our souls. We no longer need to look to others and drain them, we no longer need to depend on other things to fill us, for the true, abundant life of God fully satiates us, fills us and even overflows us.
We respond to his love by pouring ourselves out to him in worship, and that is truly the place of total contentment and fulfilment. (Please see “Where We’re Meant to Be: Worshipping Jesus” (Praise and Worship Series).)
I testify to the truth of this Bible passage first hand, for it has also been my own story. In fact, this art ministry is a visual record of “the overflow” of God’s Spirit in my life. Please see “About The Artist” if you want to read my story. To learn how you can enter into a relationship with God, please see “Message”. If you have questions about God, please see “Is God Real?”
“Now [Jesus] came to a town in Samaria called Sychar…Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’ (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’ (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
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 flocks and herds?’
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.’
The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.’
He told her, ‘Go, call your husband and come back.’
‘I have no husband,’ she replied.
Jesus said to her, ‘You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.’
‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘I can see that you are a prophet. Our father worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.’
Jesus declared, ‘Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.’
The woman said, ‘I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.’
Then Jesus declared, ‘I who speak to you am he.’…
Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?’ They came out of the town and made their way toward him…
Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did.’ So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers.
They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said, now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.'”
Here are a couple other related passages that also come to mind:
“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’
By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” (John 7:37-39)
“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…All that the Father [God] gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son [Jesus] and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.'”