I’ve had my share of disappointment. I’ve know what it’s like to have my confidence knocked down.
I haven’t been married five times, and I haven’t lived in the shoes of the Samaritan woman in John 4, but something deep in me can relate to this woman Jesus so boldly and lovingly pursued.
She’s a woman that’s looked for fulfillment in all the wrong places, hoping the next man would fill the void. Five times to be exact. She’s been the laughing stock of town women. Gossiped about. Abused. She’s never fit in. She’s lonely and ashamed, so much so that she plans her daily walks to the water well just outside town at times of day she can go alone. She’s isolated. Alone. Broken.
And for some reason this woman made it into the Bible. I have a hunch there’s something in each of us that can relate to her. We may not have experienced abuse or the severe consequences of some of her poor decisions she’s made (or maybe we have….we’re still just as valuable to God and He is a redeemer), but if we’re really honest with ourselves, we’ve all walked down avenues looking for something to fill us that can never really satisfy.
We’ve all experienced pain. No one walks through this life unscathed. Maybe we’ve hung our hope on circumstance; or maybe we thought that things would be better if only our situation was a little different; or thought things would be easier if other people would just change; or maybe we’ve searched for significance in possessions or places that fall short of eternal hope.
Or maybe we’re like the religious Jews who avoided Samaria. We avoid the unlovely, the broken, the messes. People like that are too much commitment, too much discomfort. They’re too needy. We make a list of legitimate reasons to excuse ourselves from being the hands and feet of Jesus to the hurting, wounded and broken. We got to great lengths to avoid situations which will put us in their path. Unfortunately, it’s been common in the Church. And it’s been me too. Could it be we’ve forgotten where we were before Jesus met us and redeemed us?
And Jesus had to go through Samaria, the very place all Jews went too great lengths to avoid. He had to go to this woman. He was drawn to the broken.
Here He is willing to walk through the unlovely, unworthy, messy ground to meet her, to meet us, to know us. His pursuit is relentless and His love is endless. And here He is longing to know us and He goes to great lengths to meet us in the place of brokenness. At the well.
For her, the well represented a place of pain, and this well of pain is also the very place Jesus would meet her and give her living water from a well that never runs dry–fulfillment in Him. Redemption.
Sometimes pain and brokenness are the very things that bring us to the well that never runs dry.
So today, I meet Him at the well. I choose to hold nothing back.
At this deep well, He offers an opportunity to be known intimately, seen completely and He loves us still. This is our confidence. He is our hope. He gives perfect love.
The Bible says that many more believed in Jesus because of this woman.
Can you relate to the woman at the well? Or do you feel like you relate to the ones who avoided Samaria?
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. Jer 17:7 NLT
Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed. Isa 49:23 NIV