Tell Me Your Story #2

Thirst No More

It had been a busy season of teaching, attending seminary, and serving in various ministries. I felt drained physically, emotionally, and mentally. I was thirsty for rest. For three years, I had said no to my friend’s invitation to travel to Uganda through AsOne Ministries. This time I felt God whisper, “Go, abide with Me and drink from My Well.” And I listened.

I am often asked what did you “DO” in Uganda? They look at me oddly when I tell them, “I didn’t DO anything – I abided and drank from His well.” Though we are called to action as Christians, I think sometimes we get busy with the “Do” and we forget to “Be.” Be in relationship with God.  Be in relationship with others.

While I did “do”, it was my focus to “be” with others. I taught a lesson at Tendo elementary school, spent time in the homes of schoolchildren, water-colored with physically and mentally disabled people, learned about local farming, visited with community leaders and pastor’s families, prayed with a whole lot of people, listened to stories from women bravely leaving prostitution behind, and preached on demand one afternoon. It was not so much about what I did, but more about spending time with other thirsty sojourners on a kingdom-bound journey.

One afternoon we spent time visiting with widows and I found myself carrying jars to a well to fetch fresh water. As we did this, I could not help but recall the story in John 4, about the Samaritan woman whom Jesus meets at the well. Scripture tells us the woman had been married five times and was currently living with a man. She most likely felt discarded, rejected, broken, emptied, and worthless.

Like the woman at the well, we are all thirsty for something. We are all in need of The Living Water. It doesn’t matter if you are from America or Uganda.  The woman at the well found herself in circumstances beyond her control, in a society of injustice where women have no say in marriage. We all find ourselves, at some point, feeling the same way, whether due to our own poor choices or circumstances beyond our control.

Jesus offered life-giving water to the woman at the well. He offered… himself. In offering himself, he quenched her thirst; he gave her identity and value as a child of God. What we do flows from who we are. Both matter. There’s someone God made you to be. Something God made you to do, but first you must drink deeply from The Living Well.

My time with AsOne reinforced that you quench thirst in small ways. You walk beside each other offering sips of love and encouragement, you savor and celebrate your identity in Christ, drink in who we are each called to be, and from that, flow out for what we are called to do. It is then we will thirst no more.  Renee Berg

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