We all have a longing in our soul. Some call it anxiety or a lack of fulfillment, but what if this longing had a purpose for good and not for harm? That is the purpose of The Living Well – to be a home to come and get filled. Here are four lessons we can learn from the woman at the well.
I’ve been a chaser for most of my life. My life felt as if nothing was ever settled. I almost feared the settling, or I feared missing out on something. Or maybe what I feared most was actually being happy.
Contentment felt like surrendering to life, and I never found myself in a place that I was ready to settle in.
I always wanted more. The next project, the new couch, more money, I’d settle for peace. Then I would be happy. Then I would settle down.
It was a cycle that kept me stuck, living in my pain, a feeling that I hated but one that kept me safe. That’s why I relate so much to the women at the well. And why I believe God invested John 4 over The Living Well.
To be a space where you could come and get filled. Or at least be reminded of the only place we can get filled, and come home to the place you’ll never thirst again.
What I know is no earthly longing, no amount of chasing or looking for the best thing. No perfect diet, the fairy tale relationship, or getting to your goal weight will ever truly satisfy.
The well runs deep
There is a whole in our lives so deep, a longing so great that can only be quenched by one thing. That is God himself.
A hole that seems to be easily masked in the longing for more of whatever earthly thing you believe will satisfy. And we all have that thing here, maybe for you, it’s your health. Or we mistake it for anxiety that’s always sitting under the surface.
But maybe that longing for more isn’t a bad feeling but a necessary one. Designed inside of us to keep us running back to the one who can fill us. Who does work to bring us energy and put life in our bodies. What if that longing we try desperately to fill is our daily reminder to keep seeking God.
Letting the longing be the reminder to go and get filled!
I want to dive into John 4 because there is a lot to learn from the Samaritan woman.
Here are 4 lessons we can learn from the woman at the well.
1. The Samaritan woman scheduled her day to avoid her deepest pains.
Yet Jesus still met her!
“And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, tired from his journey, sat beside the well. It was noon.
A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria.”John 4:4-9
This Samaritan woman, who found herself drinking at the well with the Savior of the world, frequented this well at this hour on purpose. Samaria was a dessert town and the heat of the day was not the time to be filling up the jars of water.
But she did this. She planned her day to escape the pain of her shame. To avoid running into the other people of the village. Drawing water alone in the heat of the day could only indicate one thing. She was a social outcast.
Yet Jesus found her there.
I find so many similarities in this story to my own. So many ways I can relate to the Samaritan woman who felt like she didn’t add up. She was lost in a sea of her own brokenness. Most likely living under the assumption that there was no fix for her, she was too far gone.
Rather than confronting her reality, she planned her life to enable her to stay that way, more for safety than happiness.
Yet, there Jesus was. He was sitting by the well asking for a drink.
Jesus, the Savior of the world, asks an outcast to help him.
Indicating the reality:
- In God’s eyes, no one is too far gone.
- He has a purpose for each of us.
- He’ll never let us be alone.
- He is always right there.
The question is, are you willing to engage him.
2. She stayed with Jesus.
And Jesus was unfazed by her sin. He brought comfort to her.
If I had been in this situation with a history like hers, I think I would have turned around the second I saw a male sitting by the well. I’m not sure I would have even engaged. But she not only showed up, but she also stayed and conversed with him.
She was curious to know more. She asked him:
- How can you ask me for a drink?
- Where can you get this living water?
- Are you greater than our father Jacob?
“The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria? Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ” Give me a drink, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
The woman said to him, Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.”John 4:9-12
It would have been easy for her to leave. To be so overwhelmed by her problems that she doesn’t even try to understand them. But she didn’t run, and she didn’t go, but she pursued.
She was curious about his promises, and He didn’t back away no matter how deep her sin ran through. He’s here waiting for us to do the same. He doesn’t see how deep your sin, He sees your heart. He sees your purpose and the beauty in which he created you. There is no running from Him no matter how hard you try. Jesus is always there.
So I wonder what would happen if you sat for a while? What if you sit in his presence? You came a little closer, and you asked those questions for yourself. Crack the surface open and allow him space to fill, which can only come with staying.
When you stay, you can be filled.
3. She received His filling.
Jesus offered the living water.
She stayed with Jesus long enough to see him. She didn’t just gaze over the surface, but she inquired, and she was open to change. Maybe even more important is the fact that Jesus stayed and showed her he had what she had been looking for all along.
That cry of her heart, that unmet expectation, that anxiety that sat under the surface, that stirring in her heart and that thirst she could never quench could all change in an instant.
“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”John 4:13-15
Jesus offered, He’s always offering. That is one thing that we know. He offers us all salvation, truth, filling, and a place to never thirst again. The question is will we receive it?
The giving of Jesus is a guarantee. The receiving on our end is the stumbling block.
Receiving is hard. Especially when we believe we’re too far gone. Perhaps you had faith enough to receive salvation, but you’re struggling to have faith enough to advance it.
But, receiving is not a destination. It’s an action. A daily choice that we never cease to do. It’s in the receiving that our satisfaction is quenched.
You’re designed to crave. You’re designed to have a longing that feels like a fire in your soul that drives you daily back to receive the only filling that can satisfy that desire. But on the flip side, maybe it’s the filling that gives you the longing to go out and share the good news?
4. She desired to go and do.
This is perhaps the point that gets me the most pumped up. But lets read the verse, so you know what I’m talking about:
“So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him….
Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there for two days. And many more believed because of his word.”John 4:28-42
When the woman believed, she immediately ran off to tell others. The filling not only filled her longing, but it gave her a new desire to use the energy to go out and live her purpose. To share the gospel, to become disciples.
The woman at the well is an example of love, truth, redemption, and acceptance.
My Hope For The Living Well
This is the story I’ve prayed over for The Living Well. That it would be a place of love, truth, redemption, and acceptance. A place where you can come and get filled so you can go out and do and live your God-given purpose.
We are not designed to fill from an empty cup, for when we run dry, we reach for an easy and often temporary source of comfort.
But choosing to live filled, to receive His filling daily allows that to overflow into all aspects of your life.
Taking what can quickly and easily become a legalistic concept of doing and put it back into its intended design–to be an act of daily grace.
The longing may never go away here on earth, but let that longing be a reminder to come and get filled. And in the filling, may you have the energy to go out and live your God-given design.
Creating a life well-lived is found in Christ alone. Let him do the work. Let him be your healer and your guide. Come back to him daily, for he is the living well, and He alone allows you to live well.
Get filled, and may you never thirst again.