“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’” (John 4:15).
Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well is an inspiring story of Christ’s power to reach the thirsty soul. We marvel that Jesus related to the woman with the divine balance of grace and truth. He made time to talk with her and took interest in the details of her life. He was prepared to cut through all of her objections and misunderstandings on the way to pointing her to the rich life found only in Himself. Ultimately her life was dramatically changed and the Gospel came to an entire village because of her witness.
In the traffic pattern of our everyday lives God brings us into divine appointments such as Jesus had with the Samaritan woman. It often happens in the routine details of life. Jesus met the woman at the ancient equivalent of a Starbucks or a convenience store. The woman’s search for physical water became the point where she acquired the spiritual water found in Jesus Christ.
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14).
And it all happened because Jesus was alert to what His Father was doing all around Him. The Father was seeking a new worshipper (John 4:23), and Jesus brought her that new way of life.
Recently Nan and I were walking across the parking lot at a shopping mall when we were stopped by a young woman. She asked us for directions to a particular department store she had heard about. She was new to Fort Worth and didn’t know her way around. Nan was able to tell her exactly how to get to the store.
During the course of the conversation I could tell there was something troubling this young lady. I asked, “So you’re new to Fort Worth? What brings you here?” She replied that her father and mother had recently passed away and she just wanted to start over someplace new. I introduced myself to her, and she teared up as she said, “My dad’s name was Mike.”
As we talked with the young lady it became apparent that she had been drinking and was somewhat intoxicated. It was clear that she was troubled in more ways than one. Though she tried to walk away a couple of times I kept pulling her back with questions. My last question was, “Do you like to go to church?” She said, “Oh yes, I love Jesus and I went to church back home.” We invited her to Travis and learned that she lives near our church. She promised to visit us soon. As the young lady walked away my heart ached for her. Deep down in her soul she needed the life that only Jesus can bring to her.
I wish I could say that I’m always alert to such opportunities. Far too many times I’m so busy with my agenda and my stuff that I miss those souls that Jesus brings across my path. I pray most every day that the Lord will enable me to speak His Word with great boldness (Acts 4:29). Sometimes I get it … other times I miss it.
Jesus was open to the woman at the well. This past weekend I was open to the woman at the parking lot. Will I be open to the man on the running trail … or the guy in the board room … or the student in the classroom?