“All water has a perfect memory, is forever trying to get back to where it was.”-Toni Morrison
I like soda. My preference is Sprite. Perhaps it’s the sweetness of the bubbly drink, or the fact that it’s not as heavy as Coke or Pepsi that continues to draw me in. Whatever the case, Sprite has always been my soda of choice. So, I was not surprised when the Holy Spirit revealed that, during Lent, I was supposed to fast from sugar, including Sprite.
Initially, the idea of drinking water 24/7 did not appeal to me. I’m well-read enough to know the benefits of drinking water, how it cleanses the organs, helps with elimination, and is overall good for the body, but for some reason, I had fallen into reaching for Sprite instead of water when I was thirsty. It wasn’t until I began to drink water again that I realized how dehydrated I really was, and how nothing could quench my thirst quite like water.
My spirit was no different. I’ve spent a large part of my adult life dealing with some form of depression. In 2016, the year of my 40th Birthday, I began to examine my life and realized I had not accomplished many of the goals I’d set for myself before getting married and having children. The darkness flooded in, and with it came the insomnia, the fear, and the restlessness. My relationship with God was flaccid. The thought of praising became a foreign concept. My well was empty, my spirit was dry, and I didn’t know what to do to turn the tide.
Encounter with Christ
Jesus met a lonely woman at a well while traveling through Samaria. This woman had a sordid past, but none of that mattered to Christ because he was there for a different reason. He wanted to minister to her spirit. Jesus shared with her, “Whoever drinks of this water [from the well] will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14). That Samaritan woman, who came to the well looking to fill her vessels, had an encounter with Christ and left with her spirit filled instead.
Your Lent experience is your moment at the well. It is your opportunity for God to pour his Living Water into your dry spirit. Your focus should not be, "How do I make it 40 days without this thing that I’m so used to consuming?" Instead it should be, "How can I open myself up to God over the next 40 days to have a life-altering, soul experience with the Father?" In order to have that experience you must be willing to delve deep into God’s word, and you must be willing to speak to, and take the time to hear from, God through prayer.
“The Well is Deep”
Over the past seven days, I have had nothing other than water to drink. In that period of time, I have noticed that it quenches my thirst on a deeper level than Sprite ever could. And I crave it constantly.
It is the same with my spirit. Before Lent began, I spent just enough time with God to get what I needed, but I wasn’t abiding with Him. My prayers barely scratched the surface of anything of true substance. The Lord knew my spiritual well was dry, but He needed me to be aware of this fact, so He’s using my Lenten sacrifice as a literal example of what’s happening with me spiritually. The more time I give the Lord, the more He pours into me. The more water I consume, the more God becomes “a fountain of water springing up” in my spirit (John 4:14).
The Beautiful Experience
I have said before that Lent is a beautiful experience because you are intentionally plugging into God for Him to repair and replenish, restore and revitalize your life. It is His season of perfecting you from the inside out, without distractions, and with you fully present and participating in the process. This is not the time to focus on the lack, but on the enormous opportunity that is before you. God is going to spend the next 40 days abiding with you and filling your well with His Living Water. You will experience a perfected love, a deep sense of contentment, peace beyond all understanding and joy. Get ready. It all starts now. Rejoice!