In Exodus, an enslaved people has been freed by an omnipotent God. This is a Superhero God who hears the cries of his people and responds in a Superhero Way. The adversary is brought to his knees by miraculous signs: a staff is turned into a snake, the life-giving Nile is turned to blood. A clean hand is made leprous (and clean again); plagues of frogs, gnats, flies, boils, locusts, hail, and a darkness “that can be felt “ are but some of the signs meant to show the power of the Lord and bring Pharaoh to his knees. There is even a plague on the firstborn of the Egyptians. Pharaoh relents, and the Israelites are freed—only to be chased into the Red Sea. It miraculously opens, closing back again upon the Egyptians and leaving them in ruins as the Israelites march towards the promised land.
There is triumphant singing and dancing with tambourines, a cacophony of praise to the all-powerful God. But the story does not end there. In the next chapters the Israelites are again feeling hostile, hungry, and abandoned. The cycle of desperation and rescue continues.
Fast forward to John 4:13. Again there is a thirst, yet Jesus chooses to break the relentless cycle. He senses this thirst is more spiritual than it is physical. This time it is not a Superhero who swoops down with an immediate and temporary solution. Jesus offers a forever solution:
“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 a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4.14
Lord, I pray thy will be done. I pray that I stop looking for the immediate super solution I seek and learn to know you, love you, and trust in your ways. Amen
Appointed readings for today: Exodus 17:1-7, Psalm 95:6-11, John 4:5-42