Deciding to Drink: Recognizing the moments when you can choose the life that Jesus is offering
by Jacqui Crumrine, Associate Pastor – Worship and Arts
I remember my children learning to take their first steps. It was always fun for me to see the build up to that moment. The ‘pull up’ on the table. The wobbly legs. The long trip around the table, strengthening their legs and coordination… until finally, my child was ready to venture out on their own. Every child took their first step towards us. Their eyes filled with excitement as we cheered them on! They wobbled their way over to us, as we waited with arms open wide! Anticipating more cheers and excitement, they repeated their ‘first steps’ until they tired of the game. Eventually walking wasn’t a big deal…and we moved on to celebrate the next ‘first’ thing.
It was easier when they were children to celebrate ‘firsts’. It’s easier for us as followers of Christ, to get excited early on in our faith journey, too. Those first steps are exhilarating! When our eyes are wide open and we see Jesus for the first time, many of us can’t wait to tell the world! Eventually though, the newness wears off, and we become reminded of the grind of daily life. We may even ask ourselves ‘Is this it? Is this all there is to following Christ?’ Let me shout out to you… ‘No!’
No matter where we are in our faith journey, there is always a next step. There are powerful moments each day when we can choose to go deeper with Christ. A few years back, I was reading the story of the woman that encounters Jesus at the well. (John 4:1-42) As I was reading, I was struck by the many instances that she chose to engage with Jesus. At several points in the conversation, she could have ended it and walked away, but she didn’t. Jesus at one point tells her that He is the Living Water. Misunderstanding what He is saying, she accepts, not wanting to be physically thirsty anymore. Jesus keeps asking her questions and ultimately confronts her sin. She didn’t run. She stayed. She chose to listen, and by doing so, she took a drink of Living Water, her eternal thirst satisfied.
Following Jesus is full of moments like these, when we can choose the life that Jesus is offering, or choose to remain thirsty. That journey never ends. Early on in our faith, those decisions may look like choosing to develop habits: reading the Bible, praying, or attending a worship service consistently. Many people stop there, but there’s so much more! Serve in ministry, make an impact in the community, join a Life Group, and share your faith! Those are some core habits to following Christ.
Then what? ‘Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.’ Eph 3:17 I’ll give you a fair warning though…when Christ makes his home in your heart, it gets real. He’s there and he starts digging deep. There’s stuff in there that only you and He know about. And again, you have to choose to remain in Him…daily. (John 15:5)
What’s your next step as you follow Jesus? It may not feel like the first time you drank the Living Water. There may not be the recognition or the immediate signs of success, but trust that God is doing his work deep within you. Don’t stop your journey at the easily celebrated ‘first steps’…but recognize the moments when you can choose the life that Jesus is offering, and accept.