She collected her things and stepped into the noonday sun, convinced she would be alone upon her arrival at the well. Shifting her gaze from the dusty earth to her destination, she sees a figure in the distance. Her heart, bruised by human judgment and scorn, began to beat faster as she clutched her empty water jar tightly to her chest. “Will you give me a drink?” the man asked as she tentatively approached the well. (John 4:7, New International Version) He was physically tired, and she was spiritually spent.
Oh, how I love this story. Most Jews went out of their way to avoid the region of Samaria. The rocky, mountainous terrain made the journey far more difficult. But their aversion went much deeper than the efficacy of the route. It was rooted in bitter hatred.
But Jesus walked right through, and He stopped to approach a Samaritan woman living in sin. A woman considered by Jews as filthy and impure. A woman of no value.
Why? Because the love of Jesus far exceeds the import of our social standing and our sinful nature.
I relate so profoundly to her response, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (John 4:9, NIV) My life is messy, and even now I still fall from time to time.
How can you ask me for…? How can you use me for…? Don’t you know who I am?
“Are you greater than our father Jacob?” she questioned. (John 4:12, NIV)
Are you greater Lord than my history? My past? My pain? Are you big enough to take my gritty life, my story, and redeem it for your glory?
The truth is, He knows all about the tender and tenuous chaos of our lives, and yet he values us as treasure. In the midst of the mess is the power of Christ’s love. He approached me, much like He did the Samaritan woman. He initiated His love for me, a wounded and broken girl, and He replaced my dry empty well with life-giving water.
When the woman at the well sees Jesus for who He really is, when her eyes are opened to the living water He offers, she turns to tell this news to the people who have both shared and shunned her. With her heart overflowing she begins to run. Slowly at first. Then as quickly as her new legs will carry her.
Intimate moments at the feet of Jesus are transformative. And as He redeems the messes we make of our own lives, we cannot help but run to tell others. “Come and see the man who knows everything I’ve ever done” and loves me nonetheless. Come and meet the one who saw your unformed body and declared “It is good.” Come and see the man who knows your tears and feels your pain. The one who whispers gently “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5, NIV) Come and see the man who hears the cry of your anxious heart and whispers “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10, NIV)
Come and see this Man, the Messiah, and the Lover of your soul. Who me? I have so often questioned of the Lord. Yes, even me.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.