Saturday, January 16, 2021. 10am.
Your alarm is blaring, and the sun is peeking into your dark, cold room. You turn over and grab your phone and the first thing you do is check instagram, of course. You scroll, double tap, scroll, wonder why you don't look like her, why you can't afford that outfit, those shoes, that house. Then, suddenly, you remember that you texted him last night and he never texted back... what was he doing? Did he forget about you that easily? So, discouraged, you put your phone down and get ready for your day. Head to the kitchen only to realize that your family headed out for the day without you. So you call a couple friends, and with each ignored phone call you feel rejected and alone, again. So here's the beginning of another boring, lonely Saturday. You pick up your phone again, scroll, double tap, and scroll some more....
Sound familiar? It may not be exactly what you experienced this morning, but we all seem to be on this search in life. This quest to feel fulfilled. Loved. Remembered. Cherished. Women tend to search for this in relationships, careers, clothes, and even within themselves. Men tend to seek professional success, solitude, their professions, the ability to provide, women, etc.
But there seems to be a common theme I noticed among both men and women. Even after getting what they think they desire so desperately, a relationship, that job, those new shoes, etc... they find themselves searching again for the next best thing that might just finally fulfill them because the last thing only satisfied them temporarily. Yet, after searching and receiving, nothing ever seems to quench their thirst or satisfy them fully. There never appears to be an earthly end-all to this quest we all find ourselves on.
This search brings me to think of a woman that I don't personally know, but can identify with. You might know her too. We were not graced with her name, but yet we were given a detailed description of who she was, where she was going and who she encountered. We call her The Samaritan Woman, or The Woman at the Well.
This woman finds herself going about her regularly scheduled activities on what she thought was a normal day. It was time to draw some water as she normally did. It was thought to be 12 noon, which was not a "normal" time to draw water. Women would normally draw water either early in the morning, or more popularly in the evenings (Gen. 24:11). They would draw water, socialize, and sometimes even meet their future spouses!
As the Samaritan woman made her way to draw Jacob's Well, I wonder what she was thinking... Was she stressed? Anxious? Upset? Was she caught up in her thoughts? As she approaches the well, she sees a Jewish man sitting at the well. Did she greet Him when she arrived? Was she confused as to why a man from a far away town would be there at that time? We can only wonder what might have crossed her mind.
You see, men coming to the well in those days had a purpose. The men knew when the women would go to the well to draw water and socialize, so they would go, meet them there, the women would draw some water for them, they would go and meet the women's family and then arrange a marriage! Talk about moving fast!
Did this man know that no more women were coming to the well? Did He have a purpose for being there?
As she was drawing water, this man asks her to draw some up for Him. Confused, she said to Him, "You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?". Although there are a variety of reasons as to why she asked this, we speculate that she was curious because #1, just the very reason that He was a man, a Rabbi, talking to her, a woman, which was also well known in her town, not for the best reasons... OR #2 she could have been confused because at the time of this encounter, the Samaritan people and the Jews had a strained relationship.
This man then replied to her, "If only you knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water."
Confused, the Samaritan woman noted that He didn't even have a bucket and that the well was deep! She couldn't fathom where or how He could get this living water! She even dared to compare him to Jacob, which gave them that well. How could He give her more or offer better than that?!
And He replied to her,
"Anyone who drinks this [well] water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life."
SAY WHAT?! A water so fulfilling, satisfying and continually giving that will never allow me to thirst again? You mean that I don't have to walk in this mid-day heat to get water AND it'll give me eternal life?!
Her response was just like that! "Please sir, give me this water! Then I'll never be thirsty again, and won't have to come here to get water."
"Go and get your husband", this man tells her.
She humbly shares with Him that she doesn't have a husband.
The man knew that already, in fact, He not only knew that, but He also knew that she had 5 husbands in her lifetime and that man that she was living with now, wasn't even her husband!
Say what? I'm sure she was confused, as to how He could know these things, and maybe even a little bit offended. Maybe the feelings of rejection came flooding back to her, and so in an effort to avoid continuing this conversation she begins to ask Him questions about worship and a debate between the Samaritans and the Jews had at the time about where it was appropriate to worship.
After sharing a few words about worship, He pointed her to the reality of the fact that the Holy Spirit would allow everyone to worship God in spirit and in truth. She shared how she knew that the Messiah was coming and that's when everything changed. In that very moment, He got to share with her that HE was the Messiah, Jesus!
In the midst of these events, His disciples get back. Confused as to why in the world He was talking to a woman, and why He wasn't hungry, they begin to mumble amongst each other and ask Him these questions... while they were focused on these trivial worries, The Samaritan Woman left her jar next to the well and ran back to the village to tell everyone what had just happened and because of that, many believed that Jesus was indeed, the Savior of the World.
Why do I share this odd story about a woman and a bucket? What does she have to do with us?
On the surface it just seems like a cool story about how someone met Jesus.
Yet, there are so many things that we can draw from this story. In fact, if it were a well, it would fill jar after jar with wisdom and application.
For right now, I want to focus in on an important, sometimes overlooked aspect of this story. The woman arrived at the well with an empty physical bucket, but that wasn't the only empty thing she carried. Deep within her she carried an empty heart. A heart with a void that she sought to fill.
We can make these claims based off of the fact that she arrived to the well alone, at noon. She was possibly rejected by other women and/or looked down upon for her history of being with various men.
With a history of 5 husbands, and currently living with one that was not her husband, we can make the assumption that she sought love, affection, attention and satisfaction from relationships and men. With each relationship, possibly feeling emptier than with the last. In that time, women could not initiate divorce, so she was either abandoned or left widowed.
Yet she continued to search, she continued to thirst. Why? Because all along, she was drawing from the well of humans. Broken wells. Wells with holes that would never satisfy. Wells in which she would draw and drink from, yet have to continually return to in order to satisfy her.
Jesus gave her the solution to her thirsting, not only here on earth, but He also gave her a solution for her eternity.
If you haven't already seen your life in the life of this woman, take a closer look. What well are you drawing from? Are you drawing from the professional well, the relational well, the popularity well, the fame well, the instagram well, the skinny well, the career well...?
Can I share with you that you will never be filled. You will never be satisfied as long as you draw from these. They cannot satisfy you because they are imperfect, tainted by sin, and what your heart is longing for is more than what you can see. It's longing for Jesus, it's longing for eternity, it's longing for what you cannot see!
The best part? I would never leave you in this hopeless state, because there is GOOD NEWS! Can I dare tell you that Jesus crosses all barriers, all races, all beliefs, and covers ALL sin, to draw you to Himself? To satisfy your every single need and desire. To be your end-all.
Stop your searching! He is calling you. Will you answer?
A Note from the Author:
Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to spend a couple of minutes with me. I pray that this blog encourages you, sparks something new in you and if you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, that TODAY is the day you come to know Him! I would love to get in contact with you! Head over to the "About page" and leave me a message, subscribe or send me a message using the chat box!