Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Woman at the Well {Maybe You Know Her?}

I was asked to write a devotion for my church this month. I thought I'd share it here as well.

“Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her. “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!” -John 4:16-18


In this passage we see that Jesus obviously already knew of this woman’s colorful past and her living arrangements at the time. So why ask her to go and get a husband that He knew she did not have? He could have simply made her aware of all that He knew about her — the fact that she had been married 5 times, and was not married to the man she was currently living with. This knowledge of her life alone would have had the same powerful effect on her and probably the same end result of her belief.

But Jesus knew that it wasn’t enough for Him to speak the truth…He knew that she needed speak it herself. He knew that unless she could see the truth about her life, and the shackles of shame and guilt that had her sitting at a well during the hottest part of the day, she would never know her desperate need for Him in her life. He knew the power confession and honesty would have on her life. The change that happens when transparency takes root and we find ourselves knee deep in surrender. When we reach the end of ourselves and realize our need for His power in our lives...chains falling away.

He knew the truth would set her free.


Although I have never found myself midday at a well, avoiding the crowds and their judgments, I have spent the majority of my adult life trying desperately to hide the tarnished reality of the not so pretty me, in an attempt to present the world with the shiny, perfect, I’ve got it all together version. Convinced that if the world really knew the horrid mistakes I've made, the depths from which He saved me, or the mistakes that I make daily in my walk as a believer, surely I would never gain acceptance. This sort of pretending, and people pleasing, only left me dry and thirsty, hunched over a spiritual well with no bucket…only the weight of shame and guilt. Defeated. Just like the Samaritan woman.

This pretending also robbed my Redeemer of the glory He is so worthy of. Only when I embrace the tarnished vessel that I am, completely surrender the whole mess, and allow His love, grace, and mercy to “polish me up” can the world see my desperate need for Him, and His story of Redemption unfolding in my life.


"My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9


**As women, mothers, and wives in today's culture {especially the Christian culture}, it can be so easy to get caught up in this spiritually draining practice of trying to appear flawless...have it all together. There is an unspoken expectation placed on us to be perfect and we oblige. Inside we are battling flesh, and a lot of times, feel like we are falling apart.

We wrestle with afflictions such as the shame of past mistakes, pride, anger, the curse of family dysfunction, bitterness, the despair of loss, the power of addictions, and unforgiveness. Not to mention the pressures to be a Godly wife and mom, and the guilt of feeling like a failure at both.

Where there is perfection, there cannot be redemption.

Maybe you have abuse in your past, maybe your marriage is in shambles, maybe you are battling a chemical addiction, maybe an eating disorder, or maybe you find your validation and worth in people and relationships. Maybe you have fallen away from your faith. Maybe you are just treading water. Maybe you feel that you have made mistakes that are unforgivable...an affair..an abortion? There is no such mistake in His eyes.

Take comfort in knowing that you are actually in a beautiful place. Brokenness. It is where healing begins. Where the enemy looses his grip. Where we leave our empty buckets at the well, and chase after living waters. Where His power works best!

You are also not alone. We are all broken in some capacity. No one is perfect. He knows it, and loves us in spite of ourselves. He KNOWS YOUR STORY INSIDE AND OUT and will NEVER fail you. Never hurt you. Never keep a scorecard. Nothing is hidden from Him. No mistake is too big to fit under the covering of His grace.

He says, "Come...are you tired? Sit with me a while...Are you thirsty? I have the best water. Tell me your heart...hide nothing...hold nothing back. I've made all the time in the world just for you. I am all knowing...nothing shocks me...nothing makes me love you less. I won't give up until I have all of you...the whole ugly thing...I love it all."

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"My every mortal breath, is Grace and nothing less"

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