October 20, 2021 · by Julie Ouellette
Most of us are familiar with the story of the woman at the well found in John 4. A Samaritan woman, an outcast, is simply going about her daily routine of drawing water when she meets Jesus. It’s not by accident, of course, though it seems like it to her. You see, a lot of people in the town knew a lot about this particular lady...But Jesus knew something no one else did. He knew that she was thirsty.
It really is a story loaded with so many lovely golden nuggets of truth. One that I love is that it was just an ordinary day, and this down-trodden woman was just doing ordinary things. Our God loves to interrupt the norm for the supernatural! It’s often in the faithful doing of mundane duties that God gives us a small window into heaven. That is, when we’re thirsty…
If you read the story, when the woman sees “a man” sitting on the edge of the well as she comes to draw her water, you can almost hear her sigh and see a covert eye-roll. Her first few responses to Jesus’ efforts at conversation are laced with attitude. She is just trying to do her thing and get home, why won’t He just leave her alone?
We’re familiar with this mindset, aren’t we? No time for interruptions, we’ve just got to keep going and get our to-do list checked off.
This really gets ramped up for some of us around the holidays. Just get through, we think. Do this thing, go here, make these plans, buy that thing, go to that event, smile and nod...then collapse in front of a fire late in the evening for a few moments of peace. The holidays are supposed to be joyful times of connection with friends and family. But if you’re anything like me, it’s easy to get caught up in the routine of it and we find ourselves just trying to get through it. It’s not really making us as happy as we thought it all would, so we hunker down and meet obligations rather than experience joy.
Are you thirsty?
Jesus knew the Samaritan woman was dry and dying on the inside; her sordid reputation was evidence of that. She’d tried and tried again to fill the void inside. She apparently had given up the hope of thriving and had settled for surviving. Time to draw water. Grab the bucket. Walk this way. It’s so hot today! Here we are. Let it down; there’s the water. Pull it up. Time to go back. It’s so hot today!
She was so, so thirsty for a life of peace and joy. But she had stuffed it down, down… Until Jesus showed up. He gently draws her out; He has to bring her to a place where she can admit she really is thirsty for more than just a life of mere survival. And when she does, Jesus gives her a profound revelation. Her life is forever changed.
I believe that this holiday season, Jesus wants to show up and interrupt our mundane expectations. Some of us expect parties, gifts, food...While others of us expect loneliness, painful memories and fear. In either case, how might this holiday season be different if we come thirsty? If we come to the Lord with our messy memories or our shallow desires and say, Jesus, I’m thirsty for more…? What might happen if we allowed the noise of the season to fade to the background, and instead truly sought to know Him in a new and powerful way?
Jesus, fill me with a profound gratitude! Lord, let me see those around me at this time with Your eyes. Help me to focus on what matters most. Let me capture just a glimpse of the glory of Your incarnation and what it truly means to me, right here, right now. Help me to meditate on Your goodness and Your glory… Jesus, fill me...I just want more of You.
Friend, the holidays are almost upon us.