Tag Archives: Woman at the Well

The First Easter Bucket

John 4:9-14

Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?

12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

I know we’re a few days past the Easter holiday, but truthfully, if we celebrate Christ in our lives every day we’re celebrating Easter; and this thought came into my mind and my heart yesterday and I needed to share it, as I’ve not been able to stop thinking about it since that time. The story of the woman at the well paints such a marvelous picture of salvation for the child of God. An interesting note about this story is that it’s the longest recorded conversation that Jesus has with any one person. And it happens to be with someone He, twice over, should not be talking to according to Jewish law. One a Samaritan, and two a woman. And yet, the Lord doesn’t stand on the formality of religion but rather He goes for the relationship. I love that about Jesus!

So here He stands (or sits, because He was weary) talking to this woman who came to the well in the hottest portion of the day, most likely to avoid people judging her, and she meets the only One worthy to judge. There’s probably a thousand points in this story, but today I’ll mention three.

  1. The Holey Bucket

The Samaritan woman came to the well prepared to get her own water and head back to the house before any of those judgmental people of her city came around. She’d had four failed relationships and was working on the fifth. She’d been let down so many times before, she knew better than to rely on anyone else to take care of her, she could take care of herself. Or so it is that I think of her. And independent woman. Her attitude with Jesus seemed to be almost sarcastic when she says “Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with….” In other words, Mister, You came here without a bucket! How do you plan on getting water?

  1. The Holy Bucket

This is what I love about the Lord, and reading His word. In the Bible according to Shari, the one that plays out in my head when I hear or read the Word of God; the one that sometimes adlibs, I hear Jesus saying… Woman, I am the bucket! I have everything you need to sustain life. You can drink of what this world has to offer for the rest of your days but at the end you’ll die of thirst because you can’t live without me.

  1. The unholy Bucket

And then she realizes there’s something different about this man. He knows her, inside and out. He tells her everything that’s been going on in her life, and yet she doesn’t feel condemned. All the sinful, shameful things she’s been doing, she knows He knows. And she also knows that what He speaks is truth. Nothing in the world has ever satisfied her. She tried everything, and every time it fails. She’s tired of coming to that well ashamed, she want to be clean. She’s tired of carrying that unholy bucket around in her life that has her labeled an unfit woman. So she cast care to the wind and says “Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.”

I don’t want to come here again.

Woohoo! And Hallelujah, does that story ever put a shout in my soul! If the woman had a name tag, and she doesn’t, it would likely bear our name. She every one of us who comes to Jesus with our unholy bucket trying to cleanse ourselves, and it never works.

But Jesus isn’t at the well any longer, He is the well. Because of the cross of Calvary we now have that Easter Bucket of endless living water that will allow us to live eternally with our Lord, but for now will allow us to live effectually for our Lord. For now we have purpose.

There is so much in this story I can’t possibly do it justice in a blog, but after she finished her business with the Lord at the well, she went back to the city. This time she wasn’t avoiding people she was looking for people unashamedly to tell them what the Lord had done in her life!

So… have you been to the well? If you not… go quickly! If so… tell somebody!!!

You can’t get there from where you are

Joshua 3:4 ~  Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.

The children of Israel were departing the wilderness. A whole new generation of God’s chosen, their parents and grandparents had murmered against the leadership, questioned God’s design and ended up dying along the way. Now this generation was about to embark on a journey for which they had “not passed this way before.” There’s something both exciting and un-nerving about going to where we’ve never been. It’s like being the Captain of the Starship Enterprise (only without the strange aliens, although strange church members may make up for that). Israel had great leadership in Moses, and were left in the more than capable hands of Joshua. God’s presence was going before them about a ½ mile, possibly that far ahead as to be seen by all who followed and they were about to get what had only been a dream before. But, it was going to take someone stepping outside their comfort zone, and someone willing to follow. That’s what I believe it takes to have a thriving church.

It seems obvious that to get to where you’ve never been, you’d have to travel where you’ve never gone. And yet church folks don’t like to move out of their section of pews, so to ask them to move outside of the church into the community is really pushing buttons that will cause the breaks to squeal. But if we never move outside the church, how will they see Jesus? Jesus’ comfort zone wasn’t inside the building it was going the less traveled way.

He met the woman at the well in a location that Jews did not travel, in the heat of the day when it was not comfortable, and He didn’t take His ministry team along. When they finally arrived at the well, they marveled that Jesus spoke to the Samarian woman, but they dare not ask it aloud. When they asked Jesus if He wanted something to eat He replied in John 4:34 ~ “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”

The disciples still didn’t get it. So Jesus put it in garden terms Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.

So I have to ask myself this question. Am I on Jesus’ ministry team? Would I have been at the well, or would I have been at the grocery store? Would I have been gathering fruit for the Kingdom, or grub for the King? My stomach just rolled over. I fear I’ve spent much of my ministry in the checkout aisle, while God was waiting for me in the community. God went out before the children of Israel into the Promised Land from the wilderness. Now He was taking them back into the wilderness, so to speak. Not asking them to be a part of it, but to go there to bring new children into the Promised Land.

What are we waiting for? We can’t get “there” from “where you are”. Go!

The Overcomer’s Club

Let me premise this blog by stating that I’m not a psychologist, or expert in mental health. I did however stay at the Stonewall Jackson Resort this week, which may qualify me in some manner as much as some of those “experts” that I’ve heard speak. I understand depression from the victim’s point of view, being one who has struggled with it for years and since salvation in 1996 have not mastered, but managed my own through relying on God’s grace to pull me through. That sounds all pious and religious, but in truth just means that I quit trying to fix it on my own and began asking God to help me through it. Each time was different, sometimes were darker than others. It varied from a nightlight of hope to a dimly lit room, it was never utter darkness for me, because in Christ I truly did have light, even though it was sometime shrouded by the trouble of the day.

If you struggle with depression this blog will not fix you, its 710 word after all. How far can that take you? What I hope it does is to “turn up the light” a little in your life today. J

.B. Phillips, author of Your God is Too Small, dealt with depression all of this life. In one of his many letters he offered this comment to someone struggling with depression. “As far as you can, and God knows how difficult this is, try to relax in and upon Him. As far as my experience goes, to get to even a breath of God’s peace in the midst of pain is infinitely worth having.”

For me that “breath of God’s peace” was my nightlight in dark times. In my heart I knew that “God had this.”, my head however would sometimes join the liars club and berate me with thoughts of defeat and discouragement. That’s Satan at his finest isn’t it? If you’re a Christian he can’t get into your heart, because Christ dwells there. So in the very core of you there is always a light. But in your mind, where the world can seep in, Satan has free reign to beat his drum and loud and long he will until you’re spiraling into the direction of depression.

So how do you spiral out?

Again… I’m not an expert. This is what works for me. I place myself in the winner’s circle with those who God’s shown me battled depression.

  1. The woman of Samaria in John 4 who came to the well in the heat of the day to avoid the judgmental eyes of society and met the one true Judge, who didn’t condemn her but loved her out of the lifestyle she as in.
  2. Moses wanted to die in Exodus 32:32, asking God to blot his name out of the book because of what the children of Israel had done with the golden calf – yet, he was the greatest leader ever known.
  3. 3.      Elijah sat down under a juniper tree in I Kings 19:4 and told God “It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life.”  The same Elijah who had brought fire down from Heaven.
  4. 4.      King David, my hero in the faith in Psalm 6:6 said I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.
  5. 5.      The widow in I Kings 17:12 who had come to the end of her finances and was prepared to die a death of starvation with her child, when God sent an endless supply of provision.

The overcomers club! There were times that they had self-inflicted depression and other times it came from the outside, just like mine. But God brought them through! None of them were perfect, their sins rivaled the worst, and yet God’s mercy and grace is shown all over them. It is in those stories that I come to the “Why not me?” phase of healing. If God did it for them, why not me? They were just ordinary, messed up people, just like me.

I’m not an expert at much, but I may be nearing the benchmark of an expert in failures. But… God’s got me covered. Amen!