Joyous Christ, sweet inner glow, Oh that you can move me so, Trade thou darkest night for peace—Daunting fears for glad release. (Patricia Hofer, Living Calm, 2016)
The popular phrase “having a moment” describes our desire to experience the depth and significance of life, to be moved by the meaning in what goes on around us. And so we stand quietly, drinking in the shared love of a family gathering. We stare transfixed, trying to make a permanent imprint of a ruggedly beautiful mountain pass or the depths of the Grand Canyon. We replay again and again some moving melody that stirs our spirit, trying to forever weave it into our soul.
But even these things fade in the constantly changing seconds of passing time. They don’t give us, in any permanent way, the harmony and joy of soul that we are thirsting for. What we need to recognize is that this yearning for “a moment” is not a natural one but a spiritual one. Misunderstanding this is similar to the Samaritan woman’s mistake at Jacob’s well. At first, she thought Jesus was promising magic, a single drink of water that would miraculously cure her of thirst (John 4:15). For someone who had to walk a distance to get water, that probably did sound really attractive.
But “the gift of God” that Jesus was offering the woman was not the water of natural experience but Christ’s living revitalizing presence. He was offering the living joy and assurance that would forever continue, “a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (NIV John 4:10, 14).
And my experience is that the Lord still does that. He’s still offering each of us, day by day, the “living water” that renews us and satisfies us. When we open ourselves to him, the inflowing of Christ’s life and the glow of his love moves us in unimaginable ways. We experience “a moment” that overflows into eternity.