The show must go on.
If you read my earlier post you’d know that I am still sitting in the fallout of an emotional bomb going off that I didn’t see coming. It’s true that I was describing an event earlier this week but I didn’t expect to still be triggered by it when recounting it this morning.
I have every reason to believe that God intends to meet me in this place with today’s SOAP. I pray that he meets some of you there too.
Again, I don’t even know what the scriptures are yet, I like to draft this opening paragraph letting the reader know where I’m at before I start, then watch the process unfold organically, and wrap it up with my takeaway on this day’s SOAP endeavor to find applicable resources for today’s challenges.
I usually start out the day with SOAP first and I’m sure there is a good reason why I started with the other post first today. I come here now with my heart raw and exposed, and I trust you, Abba Father, have your way in this place.
John 4:1-14 (ESV)
Jesus and the Woman of Samaria
1 Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), 3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. 4 And he had to pass through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
- v2 – Jesus himself did not baptize
- v6 – Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey
- v7 – Jesus said to her, “Give me…”
- v9 – The.. woman said to him… [why would you even ask]
- v10 – If you knew…
- v10 – you would have asked… and he would have given
- v11, 12 – Sir, you have nothing… and the… where do you… are you…
- v13 – Everyone who drinks of this [well] water will be thirsty again
- v14 – Whoever drinks of the water I will give him will never be thirsty again.
- v14 – The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life
v2 – Jesus did not baptize. This is interesting as I recall yesterday wondering what Jesus would have said as “he” baptized. “I baptize you in My Name”. Now we learn that it was his disciples that baptized. I love how this reveals that Jesus puts us in charge of carrying out His desires.
- How am I participating in the Works of God?
v6 – Jesus was weary. I am weary. I can see, at least in this place, how this ties into my other blog today. It’s not only OK to be weary, but it is also expected. And we must rest. But we can not truly rest until we admit we are weary.
- Can I admit it when I am weary?
- Do I believe it I am not condemned for needing a season of rest?
v7 – Jesus asks (tells?) us to do stuff.
- Do I even notice or acknowledge when God burdens my heart with the needs of others?
v9 – The woman responds not with obedience but with questions, confusion, calling his motives into question.
- How often do I hesitate, resist or question when I sense God telling me to do something that seems crazy?
v10 – “If you knew.” This is actually very subtly quite beautiful. Jesus did not condemn her for not complying with his request or questioning his motives. He instead acknowledged her ignorance.
- How often do I feel like my ignorance condemns me?
- How often do I pridefully pretend to know when I don’t know?
- How often do I actually believe I know when I really don’t know?
v10 – And then he went on to explain just what an incredible opportunity she had in front of her, that eternal life was on the line if only she would ask him for it.
- How many years did I go it alone before answering the call of Jesus to profess Him as my Lord and Savior?
- How long am I willing to continue drinking well water over Living Water in those areas of my thoughts and actions that I’m not surrendering to Him?
v11,12 – And after he tells her what she is missing out on, she responds by telling him how she sees the situation, and what’s wrong with his interpretation.
- Even after being presented with scripture or sound doctrinal teachings do I not still continue to question or look for other solutions or easier ways to move forward?
- What would it look like to surrender instead of arguing?
v13 – EVERYONE who drinks of earthly water. Nobody escapes this truth, the earth offers only temporary respite to our thirst.
- In what ways am I still gulping from the dried-up hoses of this life?
- In what ways am I using distraction, pleasure or numbing agents to ease my pain, calm my fears, breathe life into the dead places?
v14 – Whoever drinks… there is my favorite new word, WHOEVER. We have a choice, drink from the Well of Life or the well of death.
- Do I believe Jesus is the answer to all that ails me, truly believe?
- In what ways do I come to the Well of Life for Living Water?
- Are there more ways in which I can drink more deeply from His Well?
Father God, I am beginning to see how I profess knowledge when I should be admitting ignorance. Where I portray strength when there is great weakness. Where I proclaim You satisfy my thirsts while I’m actually dying of dehydration. I don’t believe it is pride Lord, but instead some measure of self-protection. The enemy of our soul wants us all to believe that we are strong, that we know what is best for ourselves, that we don’t need anyone. But in reality, at least for me Lord, I see how I erected steel bars around my heart, that being needy is to give the enemy inroads to our destruction. But the reality truly is that I can never shield my heart better than You can Father. So I confess and repent Lord of my deeply seeded attempts at self-preservation, the water I drink from all too often does not satisfy. I do believe it is You who is leading me to greater levels of acceptance and surrender but I also see that my resistance is strong. I give you free access to the areas I knowingly or unknowingly continue to try and shield from You. Have Your way Abba Father, that You may be glorified in new and magnificent ways with my broken and battered bones.
Well, this has been a heavy morning, to say the least. I feel exposed, raw, challenged… but also hopeful. If this post resonated at all then I recommend my earlier post Can Christians Be Depressed. It is a transparent look under the hood and into the realities of mental illness and emotional illness. If for nothing else, that to find grace in the struggle, and hope for the journey.
As always, I’d love to have you join the conversation, feel free to engage in the comments section below
Blessings in Christ,
Hi George, I’ve been reading through some of your posts. Heavy stuff you’ve been dealing with and I sincerely appreciate the candor that I see, especially the honesty. I’ve obviously have never walked in your shoes but we all carry baggage to some degree and we all have scars that need healing. I’m 74 years old now and as I look back in retrospect on some of the things that I have done, I can’t for the life of me understand what the heck I was thinking when I said what I said or did what I did. God’s given me an awful lot of grace throughout the years and the long and the short of where I am now is different from where I was before. Sometimes in prayer I tell God that I’m almost afraid to even open my mouth because of the motives or intentions that are behind the words that I speak. This isn’t advice that I’m giving to you, I have no right to give you advice. I can’t change what is in the past or give a bare bone honest response to why or what happened, other than knowing that in most cases I wasn’t even aware of the problems I had. Thank God some of that has changed. I use the illustration of the different layers of an onion as a good example of how God reveals us to ourselves and the one burning reality we all have is that we need Him, literally for everything. I believe that God deals with all of us individually, uniquely, and yet His method of recovery is virtually the same for all of us, He is our shepherd, He is our source. I do know this, that God’s love for us exceeds our wildest expectations and the honesty of our hearts is what He looks for, our realization and acknowledgement of our need for Him is what it is all about. I truly don’t fully comprehend it all but I can accept it because it’s just the way that it is. What you’ve gone through and what you’re going through has a reason and a purpose that will draw you closer to Him. It’s what He does with all of us who look to Him. Keep taking the steps, you will get to where He wants you to be. And, most importantly, His love for us doesn’t change as we walk towards Him. We all need His guidance, His grace and His patience, every last one of us, there are no exceptions. God’s grace, peace and blessings to you and yours my friend. – Bruce
Bruce, I love your words. I appreciate you, and your heart and wisdom and ministry. Thank you for being a part of my blogosphere’s inner-circle.