Throughout these past four weeks of Lent I have struggled. In my hope to spend more time praying, fasting and volunteering I have often failed. I look back and see much time that has been wasted. Some days I just want one of these:
But I move forward knowing that God has me right where I’m suppose to be. It may not be comfortable, at times it’s even painful. I am sure of this- He is changing my heart, my life, my story. I can only continue to move forward.
During my time of meditation this morning I read from John 4, the story of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well.
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Jesus says He is the Living Water. The only source of true life and nourishment. The woman responds with a plea, a cry of her heart, “GIVE ME this water! I don’t want to thirst ever again! I’m becoming weary in my search to find other sources to quench my thirst.” Can you relate to her? I can.
We see in verse 16 that Jesus wasn’t changing the subject. He was naming the well this woman was going to. He wanted her to face what she had been quenching her thirst with- lust. She was finding her identity in relationships and unhealthy relationships at that. I had to stop and ask myself,
to what well am I going to? What do I thirst after?
Here’s my confession: I painfully found that I am no different from this Samaritan woman. I too deal with pride and lust and have chosen to find my identity in unhealthy relationships. A big wakeup call this spring came when I discovered that I have allowed many of my relationships to be left undefined and by doing this I put myself into unhealthy thinking habits and have made unwise decisions. I feel this woman’s pain when I read of her encounter with Jesus. She knows of her sins. She knows HE knows. For possibly the first time she is faced with her own humanity. Like all of us, like myself, she has a deep longing in her heart for rest, renewal, feeling ALIVE, well fed and nourished. She found ways to have her “needs” met. But here she is standing face to face with her Creator and realizes that she’s still empty. No matter where or to what she had gone to in search for living water, for love, she still had a deep need that was left unmet. I too have chosen the wrong things to fill the same longing within my soul. And of course it was only a temporary fulfillment. Even years of something turned out to be temporary. For a quick moment I feel embraced, loved and alive. But it’s a lie. And at that moment in the story, the realization of that lie, I had to face my own brokenness. I am a sinner, in need of further restoration and healing. Only Christ can fill that longing deep within me.
But right now I don’t feel it. I don’t feel Him embracing or comforting me. My relationship with Him is not completely satisfying. I still long for more. I long for things I don’t have. Things I believe God desires for me as well.
So here I wait. Impatiently, complaining, tired.
But friends, we don’t serve a tame God. There is a wildness about Him. He continues to pursue us with his radical and unconditional love. Even when we don’t want it. Even when we chose to go another way…