Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Meeting Jesus At The Well

Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." The woman said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?" Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw." John 4: 10-15

Some days I feel like the woman at the well. We keep trying to fix the same mistake over and over again with the same solution that seems to work only for a short while - let Jesus be the same today as He was at the well.

As I sat in my living room and ponder about the inner life of this woman; what does a failed marriage or divorce do to a woman? What does sexual involvement without a commitment from a man do to a woman? This woman’s situation can be a reflection of countless women that we might all be able to name or give face to our own experiences in life who have been made to feel, for one reason or another, that they are somehow not worth being around.  Think of how important it is for a woman to have the friendship of other women. Is it just a coincidence that she went to the well alone, or was this the reality of rejection in her relationships? No husband. No friend. 

I imagined as this woman walked to the well, she was her old self, carrying the burden of her past shame. A woman with secrets. A woman with heartache. A woman feeling very alone. I wonder if she could just as easily have been the victim of a several painful circumstances, as many of us, who had to deal with painful life circumstances that were not of our own choosing, can sometimes still be treated as outsiders. But the beauty of her darkness, is when Jesus comes to her at a time when nobody else would have wanted to be anywhere near her and he not only makes the time to listen, to really listen and be attentive but, more importantly, he respects her worth and dignity as a beloved child of God. He treats her as someone whose story is worth being told. He doesn’t shy away from the messiness of her life either. He doesn’t look at her as unclean or impure or somehow unworthy because of anything she has done or because of what others might think she has done. Instead, he speaks to and acknowledges the deepest parts of her own truth while also being willing to share with her the deepest parts of who He really is, and in so doing helps to give this weary woman a new spirit and a new sense of self. 

Like the Samaritan woman, God will seek to meet us right there in the midst of our struggles and in the midst of our own messy, everyday lives no matter what we might be trying to tightly hold on to in our hearts. We are to try and meet God right where we are because each time we do so, the promise is that God will find a way to transform us and heal us and make things new from the inside out in ways that we could have never before dreamed of or imagined.
I've also been touched and transformed by God in such moments and been encouraged to be more honest about my own struggles and my own difficult and dark places. And this opening up inside me has made a better place for God to dwell in my heart.

I’m wondering if there’s anyone reading this today that needs to connect or reconnect with God. You need to know that you can be simply engaging with the very same person with whom the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well engaged. He knows all about your past. He knows the dirty, sinful, junk of your life, and he stands right beside you, offering you living water.  He is saying to you, Come sit by me, my daughter, no more lies, No more shame, No need for secrets for in and through “ME” your will have A New Life, and A Fresh Start!  

Reach out to him right now.

Dear Lord Jesus, I am in need right now. There are things in my life about which I am ashamed. I come not as someone who has reached perfection but as a sinner in need of your love, acceptance and forgiveness. Right now, I reach out to you with all my heart. I ask you to receive me, to forgive me, to change me into someone who will become a fully devoted follower of the living Christ. Holy Spirit, I invite you to come and take over. Amen

Written By Maribel O'Neill
October 23, 2010

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