She walked toward the well as a part of her daily routine. It is the same routine as all the other women of the village yet she is not the same. She does not come to the well in the morning or even in the evening during the cool of the day. She shuffles her feet along the long dusty road as the sun beat down on her. She dreamed of being a part of the daily conversations with the others as they worked through their chores. She felt as if she had no hope of that. Instead of the heart lifting support of close friends, all she had were her water jugs. That even if they were empty they still weighted her down. Maybe it was the guilt of the past or maybe the concerns of the future but whatever it was she didn't not chose to share it with others. Besides they would not listen to her or care anyway. As she got closer to the well, she slowly lifted her eyes to see that she was not alone as planned. However, this was a stranger. A Jew. So she decided to continue with the task before her. Cautiously she is preparing to draw water when Jesus says to her, "Will you give me a drink?"
This is such a familiar story I want go into the full details here but if you want to read it (or re-read it) it is found in John 4:1-42.
With just a few changes to the details her story could be re-written as my story. Many times we stop reading the story at verse 26 when Jesus reveals Himself to her. And if that were the end of the story that is enough but it is not the end. Jesus had so much more planned for her. Read on in verses 34-42:
34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.
42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
Jesus declares to His disciples that there are many who need to be told the truths of their lives (past, present and future) and few to tell them. I find it so inspiring that as Jesus is sitting there explaining to His closest followers the task sat before them the newest believer is already at work.
She was no longer shuffling her feet with her head down.
She was no longer carrying the weights (she even left her waterpots.)
She was no longer avoiding contact with other in the village.
She had been given a new life and a renewed excitement.
I have had a special love for this story for many years because it reminds me that I need only to know who He is and who I am in Him to share with other. Because of Him I can hold my head up. I can walk with confidence. I do not have to fear what others say/think of me. Most importantly I no longer have to carry the weight of my past, present of future. I simply carry it and leave it at the cross.
What woman of the bible most inspires you ? Do you have a woman in your real life that has inspired you in your walk with Christ ? How are you inspiring others ?