“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst» (John 4:13, 14).
I (J) had a co-worker who was a heavy smoker before his religious conversion. He was able to quit this habit by the grace of God. However, after years of having abandoned the vice, he told me:
«I haven’t smoked in ten years, but almost every day the thought of lighting a cigarette crosses my mind.»
The possibility of relapse is always there for those who have been slaves of any addiction, and it poses a real threat. Whether from a passing thought, a smell, flavor or sound, or from meeting a certain person or place, the desire to take up again that habit (even for only «once») is rekindled. The thirst for the harmful experience, even if it fades by our will, will visit us in the future.
During His dialogue with the Samaritan woman, Jesus does not speak about addictions but about the desires and the needs of the human being in general. Water, an essential element of life, is the supreme example of a physiological need because we permanently depend on it to live. With the words «whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst,» Jesus makes us understand that whichever solution we find for our yearnings will never be complete. Thus, He makes us an offer of a final solution for our relapses: the water of life, meaning Jesus Himself in our lives. It is not strange chat universally recognized withdrawal programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, recommend clinging to a supernatural, divine, transcendent power to regain freedom and avoid the risk of relapse.
Those who are not affected by substances may think that they are free of addictions but this is not true. We have to remind ourselves each day that we all are «addicted» to sin this is why Paul says, «there is none righteous, no, not one» (Rom. 3:10) and that «death spread to all men, because all sinned» (5:12). He also adds his own testimony, «For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice» (7:19) It is clear that we are trapped in some kind of addiction whose ultimate solution is in Jesus of Nazareth: the water chat completely quenches our thirst, the water that represents the Spirit of God—His Word, His teachings and His love.
Come to Jesus right away and ask Him for this water of life that brings authentic and long-lasting satisfaction.