Mark and I were out at a restaurant the other morning (the one where I paid a whole dollar for honey with my tea) to read our Bibles and have a cup of tea. When the waitress came back with the tea and we’d pulled out our Bible, she asked what the Word was today and for us to teach her something from the Word. Mark smiled and asked if she was a Christian, and she said (with some sense of uncertainty) “I believe that I am.” It was an interesting answer and I’m not sure whether she was simply being humble in calling herself a Christian or whether she was actually uncertain of whether or not she was a Christian.
After she walked away, we talked about it for a little bit, and got into the Word for ourselves for a while. We talked about the Transfiguration described in Mark 9 — why it happened, and why Jesus chose those three disciples to be the ones to see it. At the same time, the waitress’s answer to our question was in the back of my mind and each time she came back to check on us, I looked for an opportunity to engage her in further conversation about it. She was gone before I knew she was there each time, and finally when we were about to leave and she’d brought the bill (with my dollar honey on it!) she asked what the Word for today was.
I’d begun writing a few Scriptures down on some slips of paper I had in my purse to encourage her about her faith, and so we told her I was busy writing it down for her, and we would have it for her when we had the bill. I chose a couple of simple verses about being a Christian, about hearing and doing the Word, about confessing and believing, and just wrote a simple encouragement along with them. She thanked us and took the check while I nipped to the loo quickly before we left.
While I was away, Mark listened to one of the other customers chatting with the waitress nearby. The customer was explaining to the waitress all the benefits of drinking soda water — how good soda water is for your skin and your health, how it will give you a longer life, and so on. After I returned and we were leaving the restaurant, the waitress came up quickly and joyfully and said, “I do believe!” And we both said, “That’s great! That’s really great!” And we were on our way.
What was so interesting was the juxtaposition of interactions this sweet girl had had over the course of her morning. There are so many people who believe they have the ‘keys to life’ and will give you advice about how to enjoy a better life, how to find health, wealth and happiness. But this life is so fleeting — so many of these recommendations will make no difference when this life is through.
When Jesus spoke with the woman at the well in John 4, He offered her water which meant she would never thirst again. We had the opportunity to encourage the waitress about that water, the eternal life and salvation that we have in Jesus. As we walked away and Mark shared with me what had happened, we marveled at the difference between what the world wants to tell you about how to have a great life, and the true promises that are only found in the abundant life of a person who walks with Jesus.
The Sermon in a Nutshell: This world is filled with promises — and other people will gladly tell you how to live your life if you let them. But I’m confident that abundance, joy, contentment and peace are found in Jesus and nowhere else. If you receive His living water, that is, if you receive the gift that is Jesus, and His Holy Spirit, it will satisfy your soul — and you will begin to realise that the things the world wants to offer you are altogether a worthless lot of rubbish compared to the glorious riches available to you in Christ. If you’re thirsty, that’s the best water you can find!