Do you ever feel ostracized, wondering if anyone cares about you? Do you wonder if anyone could ever love you for who you are? Do you seek that love from multiple sources only to be disappointed?
I like to think that we’ve all been there at some point. Whether it’s a significant other, money, a job, or family, we seek that acceptance and love from something or someone, because we don’t feel like we’re getting it from the source we think it should be coming from. We take matters into our own hands.
Maybe that’s what the Woman at the Well was doing. She’d been rejected by the majority simply because she was a Samaritan. To top that off, she’d been rejected because of her life choices. She’d had five husbands and was living with a man who wasn’t her husband. She felt ostracized and wondered how it could be possible that someone could care about her. She sought love from all of these other men and I imagine she’d found disappointment.
Then she came to the well on that special day. Jesus was there, but she didn’t know who he was. She only knew he was a Jew who should not be talking to her, much less wanting water from her. Still he persisted and then he told her some far-fetched metaphor about not being thirsty again. Yet something made her stick around and listen a bit longer. I like to think it was that desire that maybe someone would give her the time of day. Then Jesus did something crazy: he told her about her life. How could a stranger know this?
After discovering who Jesus was, she was filled with joy. Not only did someone finally accept her despite her flaws, Jesus the Messiah did that. Coming to the fountain, she felt abandoned and wondered if she’d ever experience real love, the kind of love that accepts faults. Leaving the fountain, she knew that Someone gave her that love and that He would never disappoint.
Can we reach that point of joy? I believe so. While Jesus may not meet us at a fountain at noon and tell us about our past, he does come to each of us in our hearts. For me in this past season of my life, it’s been through the Psalms. Jesus met me there and taught me how to worship and who to worship. He taught me to stop pursuing other relationships and to pursue him with more fervor than ever before. Now, I may not have listened immediately or consistently and still sometimes I don’t, but I know that Jesus is the only one who will ever love me without disappointing me. For that I am thankful.