October 21, 2013

The Woman at the Well

It's been such a joy to build a friendship with Ashley over the years. Her faith and words consistently inspire me to grow in my own spiritual walk, and I hope they do the same for you as well in reading today's post. When you have a moment, visit her blog here, and follow her along!

There are many wonderful stories of women in the Bible that have touched my heart deeply, but there's one story that has brought me to my knees countless times like no other. Her story is found in John 4:1-45 and it takes place in a state between Judea and Galilee. Samaritans come from two races: Jews & Assyrians. There was much hostility between the Jews and Samaritans, especially when Jewish travelers had to journey through their state to go to Galilee/Judea. Let's just say they weren't welcomed.

And then Jesus departs from Judea to Galilee and pass through Samaria. It's noon and he is weary from the journey, so he sits by Jacob's well while the disciples go to the city to buy food. All of a sudden a woman comes to draw water. Normally, women would come to draw water in the morning or evening when the weather was cooler. But, because of this woman's reputation, she was forced to draw water when no one was there. Jesus knew this, He had planned to meet her there all along. And then he dares to ask her for a drink! She is startled by such a request, I mean, a Jew asking her for a drink? He who could give the water of life asked for a drink! And yet, Jesus is not prompted to ask because of his thirst, but rather to create an opportunity for Him to offer her a drink from the wellspring of life. He saw her need and had compassion, for she was thirsting for that she did not know. 

Jesus replies with the most precious statement of chapter 4 saying, "If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water...whoever drinks of the water I will give him will never be thirsty again." Jesus reached across the barriers of race, religion and custom to touch her life and offer her an eternal quench of thirst. The woman said to Jesus, "Sir give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water," as if that was all the response she needed. That's when Jesus confronts her with her sins (v16). He didn't confront her to condemn her; she was already condemned. He was leading her to face her sins that she might be saved. Carl Loy puts it like this: "He asks that He might give. In salvation he asks for repentance and faith that He might give life. In service He asks for dedication that He might give power and victory. In stewardship He asks for our gifts, that He might make us richer by His blessings."

The woman of Samaria was saved at the well. She left her water jar and ran into the city, telling all who would hear about what had occurred. Her salvation meant so much to the city of Samaria, that Jesus remained there for a two day revival. This woman who had been rejected by her people was the now the vessel God used to bring everlasting hope. Her testimony brought an entire town to salvation (v39). He chose to encounter her knowing her life had a bigger purpose, to help reap the souls for Christ! It was an ordinary moment made extraordinary and I can't help but weep because my salvation story is not that much different. It was an ordinary moment that became extraordinary when Jesus encountered me. He found me at the well of sin & desperation and offered me what I did not know I was thirsting for. I was lost and condemned and He offered me the most precious gift—Himself; salvation. 

He still comes to encounter us and He comes to save. He reaches across the barriers of a busy life, a broken heart, spiritual dryness & tough trials. The woman at well brings hope to the hopeless and strength to the weary. I've found myself time and time again at the well, drinking from waters that don't satisfy, and Jesus finds me there to ask me for a drink because He knows the power of that encounter has the power to save a city. The woman at the well is me and you.
He comes to the dry and thirsty land of the human heart in its wild and desperate struggles for survival. He comes to the wilderness of our lives, and a furrow at a time he reclaims the land, restoring something of the Paradise that has been lost. He comes to the weary heart to give it rest. To the lonely heart to give it friendship. To the wounded heart to give it healing. To the sad heart to give it joy. And if no joy, at least the companionship of someone who has known what it's like to be sad, wounded, lonely and weary. —Ken Gire

5 comments :

  1. Hi Ashley and Natalie! I love that idea that Jesus is asking for a drink, not because he is thirsty, but to look for an opportunity to start a conversation. Really, she is the one who is thirsty, she just doesn't recognize that thirst.

    God comes and reaches across our weaknesses, oh yes. But the way he does it is so surprising sometimes. The situation might seem so ordinary, but then suddenly you see God working. It is fun to be aware of his life in us!
    Thank you for your guest post, it was nice to meet you :)
    Ceil

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  2. He found me at the well of sin & desperation and offered me what I did not know I was thirsting for.
    This brought tears.
    Such a beautiful testimony against a beautiful story. Lately the Lord has been convicting me and speaking to me about His using me in spite of my weaknesses--this was so good, since it reminded me that Jesus not only used someone lowly in Jewish eyes, but someone lowly even amongst her fellow Samaritans. And he used her to bring salvation to them! Loved it.

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  3. Amen and amen...love this girl! Love Katie

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  4. I just love your heart, Ashley! And this post... so much good in this!!

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  5. Thank you for being gracious enough to write this for the series Ashley! Loved every word =)

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