I've read this story a zillion times.
The Good Shepherd passes through Samaria when he meets her. A woman, surely avoiding eye contact as the Jew joins her at the well. Until He speaks. He thirsts from his long trek, but not as she does. He sees beyond appearance. Beyond her Samaritan roots. Beyond the hard exterior of a woman who has been wronged and done the wronging of a husband five times over, with yet another man in her bed. Empty. Insecure. Guilt-ridden. Parched.
A woman He should have nothing to do with for a million reasons or more.
Even in this familiar story, I read this and for the first time realized that I am that woman. I am that woman who, time and time again, finds other loves to put above Jesus. Looking for something to fill a void, but always coming up dry.
Once I found that common ground, I could relate with her shame. Luckily, I don't turn to men, like this woman, and I only have eyes for one. But when that void is once again attempting to be filled by worldly things, I feel empty. Yet, I continue to drift toward anything but Him to fill it.
The battle of my flesh.
But, when he could of condemned, He offers her life. Living water He calls it. The kind that quenches for eternity. It fills every need. Every thirst. No emptiness. No insecurity.
We all need that water. And it is free to all. And oh, how I thirst. I thirst for life, and the world lies and says they can fill with what they have to offer.
For me, it's things like approval.
But I deepen that thirst with things like comparison.
It breeds toxic thoughts and steals joy.
The sin that spins in my mind that says that I am not enough. That everyone else must have it all together and that for some reason I am lacking.
The sin that says that I am unloved. Or judged. Or boring.
Oh, sweet friends. Whenever we try to find significance and fill up with anything but living water, we will find ourselves toxic.
I find myself there too often.
Even when we turn to our Christian friends for direction or approval or encouragement, unless we are drinking deeply from the well of life, we will still continue to find ourselves dissatisfied and parched to the core.
And over and over and over, we'll go to the well. And over and over and over, we'll look to other loves to satisfy. Until we drink deep of the living water. Embrace grace. And let go of what the world is offering.
Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
To drink of eternal life is to know the source. Our creator. Without Him, there will never be enough.
Lord, may I drink deeply of truth. And be satisfied in You alone.