John 4:7-14 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 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.[a])
10 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.”
11 “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 livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 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.”
As a youngster sitting in Sunday school I always enjoyed hearing the story of the “woman at the well.” Even though I enjoyed it, I never really understood it. As a child I was entertained by the fact this woman was blessed to encounter our HERO and have HIM reveal HIMSELF to her. Imagine a perfect stranger telling you your own life story. Imagine never ever being thirsty ever again. Imagine the stranger is GOD in the flesh! This story captured my attention because it was JESUS, our HERO, doing what HE does; Making impossible things happen.
As I grew older it became clearer to me that JESUS was using the water symbolically. Water is the essence of life. In fact there is no life where there is no water. Water or signs of water is the first thing scientists look for in their search for life on other planets. One of the most awesome images ever captured was the “earthrise” photos taken from Apollo 8 in lunar orbit. There was earth, this stunningly beautiful blue globe in the darkness of space. Water is not only essential for life, it also cleanses, refreshes, and transforms. That’s what our LORD was offering the woman at the well that day, a chance to change.
At a recent prayer gathering I was blessed to hear the testimony of Frank, a 92 year old war veteran. With pride he spoke about how for years he’d lived life the only way he knew how. He worked and played hard. His evenings and weekends were spent, as he put it, drinking, smoking, cussing, and gambling. But one day while at work a man came by and handed him a flyer announcing an event called a revival. Almost immediately he said something touched him and he knew he had to go. After work and supper, instead of going out drinking he showed his wife the flyer and was astonished when she told him that she had been having a feeling all day that they needed to be somewhere that night. That evening they went to the location where the revival was taking place. There was a tent filled with people and music and when the preacher asked for people to approach the front for blessing he fell to his knees and then flat on his face. Something he said, that he had never felt before welled up inside him and he knew he would never be the same. That, he said, was more than 40 years ago. He and his wife gave themselves to the LORD that evening and their lives were forever changed. He sobbed as he explained how he had recently lost his beautiful wife, and even though he longed to be with her he knew GOD still had some unfinished business for him to attend to. Perhaps it was being right there, right then, giving his testimony and glory to GOD. Cleansing, refreshing, transforming testimony!
Great GOD of all things, thank YOU so much for cool cleansing, refreshing, life-giving, life-changing water! Whenever we face the challenges that will come today let YOUR eternal springs gush from inside us like a great fountain reminding us of who we are and whose we are. In CHRIST name we pray, Amen!