This post was inspired by one of the most heartfelt sermons I’ve ever heard. Many comments and points from John 4 are credited to Pastor Kenneth Bruce.
It followed roughly 3-4 weeks of events and notes that all involved the Bible..and verses and references about water.
▪️Every week, a close friend and co-worker of mine sponsor a girls’ Bible study before school. This club has existed for five years. For the first time this school year, we had a guest speaker this past Thursday. Her name is Shai. 💕
Shai was part of my home, small group the last two years, she serves in the student ministry at our church, and basically encourages people wherever she goes. The first time I met her was on the drink aisle at Publix, and she offered to pray for me (Assistance on Aisle 7 blog post).
She has a radiant smile, a testimony that could only be written and redeemed by Christ, and out of the blue she asked me if she could speak to our group. We did not talk about her topic ahead of time, so when she came in and started sharing about types of water, cisterns and verses from Jeremiah and John…I was amazed – and pumped!
I had been working on a blog post titled, The Lake, since March 10, and just wasn’t able to bring my thoughts together. In that post (not yet published), I include commentary about the different ways water is symbolic in the Bible.
After Journey Club ended, I couldn’t wait to tell Shai how cool the confirmation was that she spoke about water. She said it was what they had studied the night before in Centric, the study ministry she attends on Wednesday nights.
What’s even better is that Shai asked me on Tuesday if she could speak at Journey – before she ever heard that message on Wednesday.
▪️Three days later, our pastor spoke from John, chapter 4, on the woman at the well.
This is a very recognizable story if you’ve spent any time in church, but because the Bible is living and active, God can always let you hear it in a way you’ve never heard before.
Honestly, I could have been the woman at the well. If Jesus had walked through McCalla when I was around 26-27 years old, He could have approached me and said,
“Go get your husband.”
Me: “I don’t have a husband.”
Jesus: “You have answered correctly, for you have had many relationships (only one marriage), and the one you have now is not your husband.”
Yes, I started dating someone even before my divorce was final. It is one of the most embarrassing things I’ve ever done and I hate to admit it. It was the typical rebound, distraction relationship from someone who said all the right things after my first husband left. Until the day that guy told me to “turn off that crap,” while I was listening to Chris Tomlin.
Divorced. Bitter. Abandoned. Blaming it all on God because He let it happen. Or, so I thought.
That statement about Chris Tomlin literally changed the way I saw that person. It was as if his appearance even changed. I swear if Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light, this guy had been disguised as one as well. We broke up.
No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:14
I was so shocked and ashamed that I was so easily deceived by just a little worldly attention and flattery.
I wonder if I would have marveled, as I sat across Jesus, at what He knew about me, as he did to the Samaritan woman did.
Why Was She Significant?
Samaritans were half-Jew and half-Gentile, so the Jews “had no dealings with them.”
My Bible notes this:
Jews would travel around Samaria, instead of going through it, when traveling between Judea and Galilee.
Our pastor reminded us in that sermon that THIS was why the story of the Good Samaritan was also ironic and meaningful.
These two groups, Jews and Samaritans, couldn’t stand each another.
Men, specifically teachers, did not speak to women in public, much less a Jewish man talking to a Samaritan woman.
Jesus intentionally took a route through Samaria when that normally wasn’t done.
Here’s the part of the story that had previously been separate events in my mind.
(This is why it really is important to read more than one Bible verse at a time. Even though I am a fan of the so-called “white-girl-Bible-verse instagram” photos. 😂❤️)
The disciples return, confused about food and how Jesus should eat something. The Samaritan woman has rushed back to her village to them what has happened.
She went to tell them all about this man offering living water at the well, and who also told her everything she had ever done.
As some of the townspeople returned to the well, with the woman, to see this prophet she described, Jesus said to His disciples, “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!”
He was talking about the Samaritans, the people they normally avoid. The Bible says that many came to believe in Him, and they asked Him to stay, and for two days, more and more people came to know Jesus.
Yes, we know He meant people when he said the “harvest was plentiful,” but to place it here, in Samaria, with these people – it just means so much more.
He was the living water that immediately ripened the harvest.
Who do we see that may be different from us, people to avoid, social lines drawn, that we don’t cross?
I think we all have a certain field, a special harvest, that God will bring into our view.
The question is, do we go sit down at the well, or do we walk around them?
After church that day, my daughter and husband wanted hibachi for lunch, not the Mexican we always get. Always.
We end up at the local Japanese restaurant, Mizu. I make a comment about why they had roses on their napkins and my daughter looks up the meaning. I still don’t know why they have roses on their napkins, but:
She says, “Mizu means water. It’s like you came to the well.”
That might be corny to you, but that was amazing for me.
I cannot describe all the water references here…maybe I’m not supposed to. Maybe it was just for me, and the few with me, when they all happened. Maybe I haven’t figured it all out yet. Maybe multiple blog posts will surface.
However, five weeks after I started journaling about all of it, I came across this devotion yesterday.
It’s, uh…completely awesome.
It totally made me view the waves that crash over me (and I use that reference a lot to describe how I feel) and oddly enough, I have a lot of dreams about water. Most have been related to sudden flooding, and waves – large, ominous ones, that take your breath away before you wake up. I googled possible meanings. I know, I have issues. 😉
Read the whole article below, but this was one of my favorite parts:
We all agree that we ought to persevere through trials, but how? How do we fight for faith?
A big help to walking with God in my trials has come from a quote often attributed to Charles Spurgeon: “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.” What does it mean to “kiss the wave”?
When I am suffering it feels impossible to keep my head above the water, much less kiss the wave.
My tendency is to hate the wave and to run away from God. I am tempted to reject God or be angry with him, not embrace him during my trial.
Spurgeon’s advice is key to suffering well.
Our trials are God’s means of drawing us to himself, the Rock of Ages.
The wave is a vehicle transporting us to the very doorstep of God Almighty.
It is not flippant advice from the prince of preachers. He is not pretending that suffering is easy and we should simply try harder to persevere. Spurgeon is not saying pain, trials, and death are good things.
Hmmm…kiss the wave.
Welcome those trial and tribulations in like “an old friend.” Let it have a seat on the couch, until its reason for knocking on your door has been accomplished. To push it away or lock it out…well, that might prolong the lesson, and the growth.
First, my favorite artist:
So let the waters rise
I will stand as the oceans roar
Let the earth shake beneath me
Let the mountains fall
You are God over the storm
And I am Yours
You are God over the storm
And I am Yours
Songwriters: James Andrew Thiele / Lauren Ashley Daigle / Paul Duncan / Paul Mabry
I Am Yours lyrics © Essential Music Publishing, Capitol Christian Music Group
Of course I’m including this song:
Lord, please move me to the beach because I think I will see more clearly there…at the water.
And this one…