Thursday, October 17, 2013

At the Well


Centuries ago, there was a Samaritan woman who would travel to the well to collect her water. During those times, the women of that region would travel together during the cooler parts of the day, gather their water, and travel back to town. The Samaritan woman was in no place emotionally or mentally to travel with these ladies. There were experiences in her life that led her to believe that being surrounded by these other women would only lead to ridicule, judgement, and "looks".  She had been married 5 different times, and her husbands divorced her. During that time, this was often unheard of. Now she was living with a man that was not her husband....an even bigger no-no during that time. For a lady to be married this many times and be disowned by her husbands meant that she was unclean, unworthy, and unwanted. It was very much frowned upon by that society. 

The Samaritan woman traveled to the well during the hottest part of the day to avoid the chastising. Who wants to feel like they are unworthy of love and are ridiculed by others?  So to avoid the "heat" from others, she decided to travel alone. Alone--to think about her problems and to replay those negative thoughts of being unworthy of love.

When she arrived to the well, she was surprised to see another person there--a man. Most men during those times were not the ones in charge of going to the well. I believe they left that job for the women. The Samaritan cautiously gathered her water until this man approached her asking for a drink. She asked him how he could be talking to a Samaritan when he was evidently a Jew (Samaritans and Jews NEVER conversed with each other. Not only that, but a man to be openly talking to any woman was also unheard of). This man's boldness and lack of what society would consider okay was shocking. He did not care. This man invited the woman in conversation and would ask her personal questions. He knew she had been married 5 different times, he knew why she was there alone, he knew the pain and ridicule this woman had to confront on a daily basis. He comforted her. He provided answers to how she could be free from the pain of shame. This man was Jesus.

Jesus meets you where you are today. Just like the Samaritan woman was dealing with the shame, fear, and sadness of her life, Jesus met her where she was. He provided her an opportunity to know Him and to show her that He loves her unconditionally. She does not have to live in the bondage of shame and guilt anymore.

While doing the study A Confident Heart by Renee Swope, the story of the woman at the well stood out to me. I have heard this Bible story many times while growing up, but this time it impacted me even more. There are many times when I think that I am alone in my struggles, and there is no one that would understand. These last few months, God has shown me that I am beautifully and wonderfully made and that the more I depend on Him, the more love and acceptance I will feel. I get that from knowing Jesus, and I can rest in the fact that I can accept myself. I don't need to doubt myself anymore.

The author of A Confident Heart shared in the book something that stood out to me: "Oh how I longed for someone to see past the exterior facade and look into the secret places of my heart. I wanted to be known and loved for who I was. Yet if I let my guard down, I was afraid someone would say I was too sensitive or too serious. It had happened before. So I pretended everything was fine. With each attempt to keep others impressed and distant, I stepped further into the shadows of doubt. Even though I was surrounded by people, my insecurities convinced me I was all alone."

Renee Swope talked about her relationship with her father as well, and I could relate oh so well. Many things I do in life are to find acceptance from others because I did not get that from my own father. Throughout my life I have doubted whether I am good enough. I doubt my capabilities. Some of that stems from the relationship I have with my father, while it's also how the world has impacted me. The good news is that God is really showing me what perfect love is right now. There is no need to be inflicted with doubt anymore.

Love,
Elizabeth

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3 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your blog. Keep on Keeping on.

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  2. Great post! Thanks for sharing!
    Lauren, P31 OBS Blog hop team

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