Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. John 4:16-18
I’m sure Olivia (Woman at the well) was not prepared for the abrupt direction Jesus took in the conversation. I imagine the surprised yet concealed look on her face said it all. Jesus was a stranger to her and a Jew; how did He know the very thing she worked so hard to hide? Is this why she came to the well at noon, knowing the other women would have returned to their homes?
So, what do you do when a probing question catches you off guard? One that short-circuits your thinking. You don’t want to lie, so quickly answer the question and hope the query ends. But Jesus doesn’t let her move on. Not only that, but He also opened a chapter in her life that she thought was closed. Buried deep in her heart, a place where no one was invited and a place she seldom ventured. A painful place that she was ashamed of and wanted to forget.
Jesus knows that the living water must be received with an open heart. A heart that is surrendered to Him. Olivia must come clean and face her past so the living water will flow unimpeded over her soul. Sin, unaddressed… Sin hiding in the heart will block the flow of Christ's blessings, and He wants so much more for her than that. He wants her to experience an abundant life that He will soon go to the cross to purchase with His life so she can walk free.
Let's pause for a moment.
Wow! Just this morning, the Lord revealed some ugly things that were in my heart. I didn’t judge, just opened up a dialog about what was there. What I love about the Lord is that He always tells the truth, so you know it's the truth when He shows you these hidden places. What do you do with the truth… You own it. You agree with the Lord so that forgiveness, healing, and restoration can begin.
So what was hidden in my heart? I briefly touched on this earlier. The Lord showed me a deeper level of hiding that I had been practicing for a long time, and He wanted me free. We don’t have to worry about how much God shows us; He has measured that out. Our job is to acknowledge as truth what He reveals. Agree with Him. Yes, Lord, You are right. I have been hiding. I have been afraid to leave the shadow of other people’s success. I have been afraid to move forward, preserve, and do the hard and heart work so that Your calling on my life can transform me and bless others. I have given You many excuses, but not today. Yes, Lord, You are so right. You know how tired I am. Hiding has worn me down. It has taken all my time and energy. It is the reason I’ve been low and confused and just tired. But today, You didn’t tell me something new. Today, I heard You deep in that hiding place through the power of Your love and grace.
Lord, You said, if I confess my sins of doubt, fear, and shame, You will forgive and cleanse me from all my unrighteousness.
Lord, I am reminded of King David and his confession (Palm 51), and after He came back to You, this is what he shared:
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. I acknowledged my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto Thee in a time when Thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. Psalm 32:1-6
Wow! David’s long drought had finally ended. The living water once again flowed freely through him… that cool refreshing water… And he drank deeply from it, and his prayer was heard…
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which Thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide Thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit. Psalm 51:7-12
Accepting the truth about ourselves as God sees it is a conversation we all must have. If not, the living water Jesus offers will taste bitter and not nourish our souls. We will refuse it and start drinking from our self-made well. Then we will soon stop visiting the well; we will dry up and die emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
The Lord and I discussed my hiding, fears, and shame openly. There at the cross, I lay that burden down. I won’t be carrying that burden anymore. I breathe a sigh of relief. I feel light, and that brain fog is gone. I’m free.