Reference Point Devotional

Remembering Joy

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation (Isaiah 12:3, NIV).

This is a well of remembrance. Here we draw life-giving water from springs that never run dry. Do you remember when you first fell in love with Jesus? That moment when you experienced His salvation that changed your life forever? This free and totally undeserved gift fills me with unspeakable joy, but it often gets lost in the busy day-to-day life of an information professional, mom, wife, volunteer, friend, sister, and daughter.

Think deeply about the last time you were truly satisfied. Sat back after a good meal. Quenched your thirst after exercising or sitting in the hot sun. What were you feeling? Thinking? Experiencing? Perhaps relief? Or contentment? How long did those feelings last before you became hungry again? Thirsty again? Or simply still had room for dessert?

Jesus never runs dry. He never runs out. And He truly satisfies. Like the woman at the well in John 4, He gently reminds us, “If you knew the gift of God… you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” (John 4:10). In this conversation, Jesus directly points to the woman’s need for His salvation by asking about her husbands. When I enter that conversation, He who knows my heart gently points out all the idols and fleshly desires that have come between us. Where are you trying to draw water from? Does it satisfy your need for joy?

Many commentaries agree that the woman was trying to change the subject by asking Jesus a controversial question about worship after He prophetically pointed out something likely uncomfortable for her. Have you ever tried to do that in conversation with God after a moment of conviction? As if we could distract our Omniscient God from our need for Him – our need for salvation, for His sacrifice, for Him to cross the divide we could never cross on our own. This life-giving water that “will become in [us] a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14) that only He could provide. The spring described here is similar to the well in Isaiah 12 that is describing a source of life. None of us can survive without water. And none of us will have eternal life without salvation.

This free gift of salvation is the well-spring from which we draw our joy. It will never run out, so keep drawing water by remembering the first time you fell in love with Jesus, when you accepted His amazing, free gift. Remember the first time He washed your heart clean with freedom from all your sin because “whoever drinks the water [Jesus] gives them will never thirst” (John 4:14).

And with a grateful heart, worship Him “in Spirit and in Truth” (John 4:24) just as Isaiah proclaims:

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done,
and proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”
(Isaiah 12:4-6)

Karina Dunn

Karina is the Library Director at Vanguard College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She has been an ACL member since 2019.