There is only one reason we go to a well. We need something from it, something vital. Something nourishing and satisfying. Yet, although the Samaritan woman had access to water, she was perishing inside for lack of water.
Before I started my writing ministry, I believed I had several strikes against me. I am an older woman of color and have what the world calls a learning disability. And like the woman Jesus meets at the well, I often wait until no one is around to approach life. So, she waited until the sixth hour (noon), the hottest part of the day, before all the other women had come to draw near the well to fill her waterpot. Why? Perhaps she is hiding something. What? Maybe it was fear of her past. Fear of the present. Fear of the future.
I imagine the Samaritan woman was on edge, about to give up. She most likely had no real friends. Maybe her family had disowned her, or she was far from home… We are told that She had been married five times and now lives with a man who was not her husband. We may surmise that she has been put away by the other men in her life, but we don’t know. Maybe one of her husbands died; we don't know. However, her decision to come to the well at noonday shows that she may not be in step with her peers of the day.
I suspect she knew all about shame. Isolation. Loneliness. They were probably her constant companions. Besides that, she was of a mixed race, a hated race.
I imagine she was startled when she approached the well, probably deep in thought... Yet hoping that no one would be there, only to find a man, a Jew, sitting on the well. Now what? Would He harass her and chase her away, too?
Let’s pause for a moment.
When I started my dyslexic writing ministry, I was more afraid of success than failure. Success felt overwhelming. How would I be able to manage success? I told myself that I didn’t know what success looked like, and if I was successful, I was afraid that it would replace my need for God. Would I forget God? I wasn’t sure. Yet, I knew God had called me to work with and for Him. I wasn’t confused about that. So, I hid behind the Podcast. The Text Ministry. The websites. The book publishing. I wouldn’t even put my picture on my website or the back cover of my books. I have a Ph.D., which very few people know about. I called that humility, but was it? With trepidation, I once gave a fearful shoutout when I launched my most recent website… I did that Once. When I published my first book, another small shoutout… Once. And I never brought the subject up again. What was I afraid of? Better yet, what was I ashamed of? What was holding me back?
After much prayer and studying the word of God, I finally concluded. I needed to meet Jesus at the well because I, too, had access to water but needed the living water. I had allowed dyslexia and its impact on my life and many other things to dehydrate… I was reading my bible, but the water wasn’t entering my cells, carrying the living nutrients to my body.
The beautiful lesson I learned from the Samaritan Woman was that she didn’t shy away from Christ that day. He noticed her. He was kind to her. He was open. No judgment. She could not pull herself away from Him even when He told her of her past and current situation. I imagine she saw love, kindness, and compassion in His eyes and was drawn to Him. I imagine the sound of His voice awakened in her a joy she had longed for and dared to dream about.
So, I decided to meet Jesus at the well this morning. I know that Jesus will be there, waiting for me. I know He will offer me living water and give me His strength to take the cup and drink deeply. There are promises in His water because this water represents His word. And when we drink His water, our life becomes a fountain of life that Jesus pours Himself into. We receive to give. We become a spring in the desert, welling up to refresh all and making those ready to perish eager to drink the water of life. Isn't that the most incredible thing you've ever heard and can experience daily?
If I partake of the living water, I know I will be nourished and satisfied. And it’s important to note that Jesus will only give me enough water for today. Just today. Tomorrow is not promised, and if it comes, it will hold its own set of needs that yesterday's water supply can’t satisfy.
Are you ending 2022 dry as those bones found in Ezekiel 37? Do you need the living water as you enter a new year? I stopped making new year's resolutions years ago, but one thing is for sure, I need the living water… Jesus knows where the parched places are and how much living water you and I need today. So, with faith, I let Him measure it out and what He pours into my bucket (heart and mind) if it seems too little; trust Him that He knows what He is doing. He will only give us enough for today.
But there is a catch… It’s a fair exchange. We give Christ what we fear, what hurts, what disappoints us… we give Him the shame; we give Him what He asks for...whatever stands between us… We name it, describe it… discuss it… then we hand it over to Him. You can wrap it up in a pretty box if you like. What matters is that we give Him our fears and disappointments, and in exchange, He gives us living water to quench our thirst for peace, courage, joy, and deliverance.
"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee." Isaiah 60:1–2.