Living Water

“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.” (John 4:10)

The story of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan Woman at the well is a very well-known passage of Scripture. For some, it is their favorite passage of Scripture and they love to read about Jesus reaching out to one considered “unworthy” because of her gender, nationality, and lifestyle. I’ve read it many times, and have probably heard more than a couple sermons about it over the years. It would be easy to assume that I have already learned everything there is to learn from this particular story, but it seems that each time you approach Scripture, God reveals something new or reminds you of something that you had forgotten. 

As I was thinking about this story today, I tried to put myself in the shoes of this woman, a woman just going about her normal, everyday business. I found it interesting that unlike so many other stories, this woman did not seek out Jesus. Jesus was the one who initiated the conversation. In fact, she didn’t even know who he was! Had she been too busy, ignored his request for water, or not taken the time to engage in conversation with him, she could have missed out on an incredible blessing. As we read further in the chapter, we see that she was not the only one to be profoundly influenced by the experience, but her whole town came to believe that Jesus was truly the Messiah!

I think we all would like for God to speak to us like he spoke to Moses through the burning bush or Isaiah’s dramatic vision in the temple or Mary’s angelic visitor, because then we would know beyond the shadow of a doubt that it was God. We crave the certainty that would come with such a revelation. While God does occasionally show up and demonstrate his power in some amazing ways, these occurrences are not his normal method of communication with us. Most of the time, he speaks during our prayer time, or when we are reading Scripture. He can communicate to us through other godly men and women, and sometimes, it’s the weird guy begging for water at the town well.

It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane.  There’s always a TPS report to file, a bill to pay, a ball practice your kids need to go to, and the dishes or laundry never stop piling up.  But I would hate to miss out on a blessing that God had in store for me, my family, or my community because I was too busy being busy.  I can imagine nothing more disappointing.

The Samaritan Woman could have filled her jug and gone on her way.  Her life could have continued down the path it was on, bouncing from one broken relationship to the next. Her town could have continued being on the outside of Jewish faith, needlessly anticipating a Savior that had already come. But God had a different end in mind for the woman and her community, but it all hinged upon whether or not this woman would respond to the simple request of a stranger.

We cannot know what opportunities and divine appointments lay behind our everyday situations and circumstances.  However, we can choose to be open to the possibilities, to listen for God’s voice, and heed him when we hear him call!

PRAYER: Father, help us to overcome the tyranny of the mundane, to quiet the busy-ness of our lives, so we can be open to your gracious invitation and your guidance. Thank you for not giving up on us when we allow the insignificant worries of this present life overshadow the eternal significance of our soul’s well-being.  In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen!

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