The Woman at the Well—Encountering Jesus

John 4:5-10 (NIV)

So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 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.”

Are you feeling the strangeness of the times? I am. As I sit here writing this blog in March, I find it’s reminding me a little of 9/11. The quiet. The emptiness. The hysteria. I guess this will be another chapter in my life entitled, 9/11 and COVID-19. Sounds about right don’t you think?

First, it started with the announcement of COVID-19 appearing in China. Then the reports started coming in fast. We became bombarded by the media with the seriousness of the virus. How it had the makings of a pandemic. We heard terms like airborne. No place is safe. It became a brushfire filled with some fact some fiction. Then the hysteria set in because the fiction overtook the facts. We had no time to learn. No time to separate opinion from medical facts. We had no time to digest the meaning of it all. There was only time to react.

And, so we did.

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It only took minutes for our stores to look like this.

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People fighting in the aisles of the stores and the parking lots. Acting like crazed animals over a carcass. For what? Over what?

This thing known as COVID-19

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A highly infectious respiratory disease that’s caused by a new coronavirus. Mild, moderate, serious, severe, or extreme. All adjectives used to describe patient symptoms with this virus.

Scary? Of course it is.

We’re told to use hand sanitizer regularly.

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Watch for a fever.

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Wash our hands, wash our hands, wash our hands.

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I seriously don’t get this though. I get that we all need this. I get that it’s a bummer when you discover you’ve only got one roll left in normal times. I don’t get why the rush on the stores to hoard as many rolls as humanly possible. More than one family would ever use in their lifetime.

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We’ve also been introduced to masks which people have gone mad over. They are not effective. They will not prevent the general public from catching the coronavirus. This comes from the U.S. Surgeon General. So, I’d say if you’re buying them in bulk, STOP! Healthcare providers need them more because they are treating COVID-19 patients. If the healthcare providers all get sick, where do we think that leaves us?

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Now, social distancing. I’m all for it for now as it pertains to COVID-19. The referenced passages speak to social distancing. Bet you never thought the Bible (written so long ago) would speak to current events, right? But it does. Jesus was tired and stopped at a well by himself. It was about noon. He needed some alone time.

Typically, the women of the village would go to the well in the morning. However, while Jesus was resting at the well a woman comes to draw water. You see, the well was a social gathering place. But, as I mentioned, only in the morning hours. This particular woman came at noon.

We learn from the scriptures that she had been married five times and is now living with a man who is not her husband. Plus, she’s a Samaritan. Talk about your social distancing! The other women wanted nothing to do with her and she knew it. It’s unheard of that Jesus would talk with her.

 Jesus asks her for a drink of water. She begins to question Jesus as to why He’s talking to her. So He asks her if she knows who she’s talking to. The conversation goes like this: “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.” Living water. This is significant.

Jesus knew who and what she was yet He offers her living water. She’s confused and mistakes Jesus for a prophet. She tells Him that she’s waiting for the Messiah. He says, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” Gives you chills, doesn’t it? Can you imagine that happening to you? Coming face to face with Jesus, the Messiah?

We also see in scripture that Jesus often practiced social distancing for His own spiritual health. Do you have a well where you can go to draw deep the waters of life? Do you have that time apart from others? I have what I call my quiet time. It’s early in the morning when my husband is still sleeping. It’s my time to sit with the Lord and read His Word and talk with Him. It’s a time to be still. To be quiet. To simply have tea with Jesus and soak up His wisdom. I love it. We all need this to restore our own soul.

There’s something called digging wells in the winter. Sound strange? It did to me at first. Here’s why you should dig a well in the winter. If you dig in the summer when the snows have melted and the ground is soft and full of water, you’ll start digging and then when you reach some water because it’s up high you think you’ve dug far enough. So you stop. But you haven’t dug far enough and the water will soon disappear. It won’t last. You must dig far into the ground to find the volume of water you’ll need. When you go to your well do you have enough of the living water there to sustain yourself? Have you dug deep enough?

Sometimes we suffer from spiritual dehydration. Jesus says, “I am the living water.” Have you ever become dehydrated? My brother-in-law was taking care of our family’s dog one summer while we were on vacation. We got a frantic call from him saying our dog didn’t look well and that he was taking him to the Vet. A few hours later he called back and said not only was our dog dehydrated but he was too. They both had to be rehydrated by the Vet and a doctor. Both by IVs. When an IV is inserted into your vein you come back to life. Such is the living water of Jesus.

We are all in a time in our lives when we have this opportunity to draw from the well and restore our soul. Think of this. What’s your worse fear? If it came true what do you think God would do? I suspect He’d be there. God is with us always. Have confidence in that fact. Nothing can separate us from God. Philippians 4:7 tells us: And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Draw deep from the well of life. We are children of God. Sometimes we try to fill our life up with so many other things. Be secure in the peace of God. The woman at the well was so excited that Jesus would offer her this living water that she ran to share the good news of the Messiah.

I offer up this in this time of social distancing—reach out via media, reach out via phone, and remind family and friends that you love them. Take this time to hydrate.

Go and tell—go and tell all who have ears to hear that God is with us. Proclaim it!

And remember especially now.

Fear not. All is well.

            And that’s what I learned in Church……see ya next time!