The Samaritan woman's story is familiar to most people, especially Christians.
This story was a part of my quiet time this morning.
I hear it often and yet every time it seems to speak to me differently.
Awesome how God's Word does that, isn't it?
What do we actually know about this woman?
We read that she came to the well at mid-day, most likely the hottest time of the day.
Seems that the only people there then were her and Jesus.
I have read that going to the well in the early morning hours or in the cool of the evening was most common. So why in the heat of the day? Perhaps because of the life she led? We read that she had 5 husbands and the man she was with now was not her husband. So perhaps she was frowned upon by other women? Perhaps she went to the well in the afternoon so that no one else was there?
Alone. That is what she was, I assume. Alone and lonely.
She was thirsty too.
I don't mean thirsty for water, but for joy and love.
We don't really know her history, why her marriages fell apart, if she had friends, if she was happy.
But what I do know is a transformation took place.
Her encounter with Jesus changed her.
There is a heaviness, a bitterness at the beginning.
I can hear it in her voice when she talks to Jesus.
9The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" ... "Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"
But then something changes. Jesus tells her who he is. And...
28Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29"Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ[b]?"
She left her water jar. Hello. She came to the well obviously to get the water she needed for the day. Then she leaves it. Just runs off and leaves it siting there. She is obviously distracted, excited, changed. Her focus is no longer on getting water, it is on this man whom she met at the well.
What changed? I can't say for sure since I don't know her deeply, but I do know what caused her change. Her encounter with Jesus.
Do you have days that leave you thirsty, bitter, tired?
I do. Yes, I have great days filled with laughter, joy and fun, but my toddler does not always wake up on the good side of the bed, heck, neither do I.
But when I encounter Jesus, whether it be during my quiet time, through kindness from a friend, love from my husband or the smiles from my kids, it changes me. When I drink from the living water, I feel alive. Jesus knows what our deepest needs are.
And just like the woman he met at the well, he desires to meet with us to fill us, to renew us, to change us.
Let's go to the well, whatever time of day you can get there.
Let's drink the living water and be filled again.
Thank you, Jesus.