Her pain, her shame and her own sense of worthlessness, and the memory of it all, was suddenly, once again, upon her. For years she had masterfully crafted out a lie that she told herself, and others. She had believed her lie and lived by it her entire life, and now it was over. Running and hiding–pretending and denying reality–were about to become a thing of her past. In one brief encounter, with a man she had never met, she was completely and fully exposed. In the blink of an eye, she was never again to be the same.
Hold that thought! I want to show you something, but first, consider the following story from John 4:
7. A woman from Samaria came to get some water. Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8. His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
9. The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew. I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” She said this because Jews don’t have anything to do with Samaritans.
10. Jesus answered her, “You do not know what God’s gift is. And you do not know who is asking you for a drink. If you did, you would have asked him. He would have given you living water.”
11. “Sir,” the woman said, “you don’t have anything to get water with. The well is deep. Where can you get this living water?”
12. “Our father Jacob gave us the well. He drank from it himself. So did his sons and his flocks and herds. Are you more important than he is?”
13. Jesus answered, “All who drink this water will be thirsty again. 14. But anyone who drinks the water I give him will never be thirsty. In fact, the water I give him will become a spring of water in him. It will flow up into eternal life.”
15. The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water. Then I will never be thirsty. And I won’t have to keep coming here to get water.”
16. He told her, “Go. Get your husband and come back.”
17. “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18. The fact is, you have had five husbands. And the man you have now is not your husband. What you have just said is very true.”
On what appears to be a chance encounter, this woman meets a man at a well who asks her for water. He seems to know her whole life’s story. With kindness and compassion he approaches her and draws her into conversation. A conversation which eventually addresses her deepest secrets and her inner most need. Certainly, she is aware of her own heart’s desires and longings. She must know where she lacks and hurts the most. But, how does he? In a simple statement he reveals something she has been running from her whole life. He says, “Go. Get your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replies. Jesus says to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands. And the man you have now is not your husband. What you have just said is very true.” (verses 16-18)
Pay attention to what is being revealed here–five husbands and the one she is now with is not even her husband! This truth demands that we look beneath the surface. I cannot help but wonder about her and what is going on in her life. What is truly driving her along this destructive path? Did she struggle with her value and worth? Did she look to men to fill her need for love? Did she believe she was worthless with no real significance? What inner wounds and traumas drove her that demanded healing?
We can only imagine the answers to our questions, but the answers are not really the point. The conversation between this woman and Jesus is revealing and exposes things about us as much as it did this woman. We all have a story to tell, just like she did, we all have experiences in life that have wounded us in numerous ways. We might go looking for love in all the wrong places, we might find ways to numb our pain–we might turn to drugs, alcohol, food, sex, work or shop-till-we-drop, but the point is, we are searching for something to quench our inner thirst. This deep inner thirst must be quenched at all cost and sometimes the cost might be at a cost far greater than we are willing to pay.
In one brief encounter, in the blink of an eye, without judgment or condemnation, Jesus gets right to the heart of the matter. Gently, He guides her to see what she needs to see the most. Her deepest desire, her need, her thirst, was a spiritual need. It was about her inner, spiritual journey and not just about her external physical desires. Our tendency is to focus externally to find what satisfies. Jesus redirected her to look inside to find what truly satisfies.
What answer does Jesus offer her for all of her pain? We are given the answer to that question in John 4:10, when Jesus tells her He will give her “living water.” What He offers is none other than Himself. He recognizes her pain and all her longings and He points her to Himself. In essence, He is telling her that He is the One that satisfies; He is the One that loves her, He is the One that gives value and worth—He is the “living water!”
No doubt, our journey is physically here on this earth, and at some point in time, will involve healing from past and/or current wounds. BUT, the journey is still about our spiritual need first and foremost, as well as what satisfies and what does not. I do not dare make light of anyone’s emotional or physical pain–I’ve moved through my own, but I can say with certainty, our longings, our desires, our thirst, reveals something to us about our spiritual condition, and the answer is always the same.
Only One can truly satisfy and heal us where we are wounded most, only One can truly quench our inner thirst, only One can truly love us the way we desire to be loved, only One can give us value, worth and significance. Only He, Jesus, the “living water,” will quench our thirst!
Contact: Kiki @ DancingWithGod@charter.net