In his book Sacred Thirst, pastor and author M. Craig Barnes uses the meeting between Jesus and the woman at the well to point to the thirst of all our hearts; the thirst that can only be quenched by God, the thirst that can only be quenched when we let go of all else and drink the living water offered by Christ.
Because the door into the holy place is so narrow, we must let go of everything, absolutely everything, in order to slip through.
Some of us are rich in relationships. But there is no group ticket into the holy place. We must let go of identities as sons and daughters, friends and lovers, in order to enter the lonely place where the Holy Spirit makes us the beloved of Jesus’ Father.
Many are rich in wisdom. Some are even rich in theological knowledge. To enter the holy place, according to the apostle Paul, we must also drop all of our ‘wisdom’ and become fools. There is no way to add a little sophistication to this clear warning,
The powerful must become weak, the strong must become frail, and the successful must drop every achievement until they are no greater than those the world regards as failures. Those who have limped through life, hurt or angry, will finally have to let go of this as well. Skepticism, fear, sin and even our own righteousness must fall from our hands – especially our righteousness. None of it will fit through the narrow door. Then at last, stripped of everything, we can encounter Jesus and his invitation to come to the holy place where living water is waiting for us.
Why does it cost so much to enter this holy place? …If there is anything, anything at all, in our hands it will distract us from seeing our Saviour. But once we see the Saviour, we will then see that all the things we have dropped are now in his hands, which of course, is the best place for them to be.