A while back, I mentioned that I hoped to later share some revelations I had during my weekend of chaperoning at the Acquire the Fire conference. I think today is a perfect day for that.
During the conference I had a moment of quiet reflection when I was softly inquiring of the Lord, “Who am I?” Yes, I am a Christian woman, and like most women I wear many hats that do not define who I am. What was special about me? I was lacking the radical testimony of one who walked in darkness most of her life and, after a radical transformation, never looked back. Nor was I the lifelong always-obedient Christian who had never strayed far from the path. I can be so hard on myself. Sometimes it hurts realizing that I will never be able to say I haven’t made some seriously stupid choices in my past even though I knew God.
There I was, in an arena full of young people, wrestling with my testimony which, at first glance, appeared muddled and cloudy. Kneeling on the cold concrete, slow tears trickling down my cheeks, I was asking God to clarify that testimony to me . . . until, with that whisper that has grown unmistakable to me, I heard Him say to my heart, “You are the Woman at the well.” Woah there! Huh? This didn’t sound good. The woman at the well was, to put it nicely, troubled. She had been married five times and was living with a man she wasn’t married to.
Please read with me. No really. Resist the urge to skim a possibly familiar passage . . .
From John 4:9-15: The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?12 Are 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?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but those who drink 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.”
Pressing God for more information, I replied to my Lord, “Okay God, if you say so, it must be true . . . I am the woman at the well . . . but . . . would you mind explaining it?“
To me, His point did not seem to be that I was a very lost or troubled woman. Rather, the point I gleaned was that I have finally found the living water offered to the woman at the well – the one that quenches my thirst better than anything on Earth ever could – even men. Even marriage. I found fulfillment through His living water. This was the clarity in my testimony I had been looking for.
I am the woman at the well whose thirst has finally been quenched. Daily I go to God, to His word, so that He might give me a drink of the only water that can satisfy my every craving.
I am the woman at the well – I wasted many years filling up my jar from the wrong wells. Granted, unlike the woman, I knew there was a God who had a living water, but somehow I couldn’t believe that His water was all I needed, or that it was even for me.
I am the woman at the well. From John 4:28-29: “The woman left her water jar and went back to the town. She said to the people, ”Come. See a man who told me everything I’ve ever done. Could this be the Christ?” I too have left my jar – my old habits and ways of trying to fulfill my thirst. Because I now see how miraculous this living water is, I can’t help but tell others about it all.
I am the woman at the well. Though I have made wrong choices (I’m a Samaritan so to speak) my Father loves me enough to cross any barriers. I am just as valuable as someone with a seemingly spotless record. For truly, we have ALL sinned. Whether it was a lie or a hurtful word, or selfishness, or adultery, or murder or whatever . . . we are all imperfect people in need of a savior.
He uses imperfect people every day. May I dare to say He prefers us to be imperfect, not that we should hurt or hurt others, but because if I was perfect I could boast that I did it in my own strength and have no use for a savior.
Those are good truths of which I must often remind myself when I am tempted . . .
to be ashamed,
or to feel useless.
My goal is not to be perfect – but to be willing. Willing that God should use me when and where He pleases. Willing to accept the grace explained in Titus 2:11 (For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.)
Lord make me willing to stand out, to be bold and unashamed,
Lord may I be proud of my past – but only because of the way it so beautifully displays your redemption.
Here’s to new beginnings for you and me.
Here’s to a well that never runs dry.
Selah. (pause and reflect)