When Charlie and I go for walks I try to have it that he walks closely with me, but sometimes he will just take off walking (sometimes running) ahead of me. I wonder where he would go if I would just let him. Would he go to Stew Leonard? Or his friends house down the block? Or is he just walking with no direction…not really sure where he will go…kind of lost. I don’t ever want to find out, but you get the picture. There were many years that I did what Charlie does… walking along side by side with God and then bam… going off on my own. Although developing my faith in Jesus when I was in high school, when college came, I started doing things my way, and quickly turned my back on my God.
2006: “It effects everything. I let it rule my life. It holds me where I am today. Lost. If that was love, it came at much too high a cost. I am left trying to figure out who I am, after being in his shadow for way too long.”
Those were words that were part of a journal entry that I wrote about a year after I broke up with a guy that I should have never dated for more than 3 weeks. When I think back on those years I think one word in that journal entry expresses how I felt during that time. It is a word that popped up a few times in the full entry as well. Lost. I used to ask myself “how did I let my life get to that point? Where I felt like I was existing and not really living?” Do you feel that way? Maybe you don’t know what way is up, what way is down, what way is front,and what way is back.
During those years there were many times I felt God’s nudge to come back to Him. One of those times was one Easter. I went to church with a friend (because that is what you do on Easter), and I could barely walk after the service because I was so rocked to the core by what the pastor had said. There was another time where I spent time at camp and recommitted my life, to only go home and forget that promise.
The Women At The Well
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
“I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
I bet the Samaritan women felt relief after her encounter with Jesus. I bet she felt freedom. Jesus showed her grace, and I remember how much relief and freedom I felt when God had a similar chat with me, telling me that He knew everything I had been through and had done. I remember I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders and I cried in relief for about a week straight. I love that God is always there, I love that He knows. I love that even in our messes He still says “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst”. I love that God doesn’t just throw us to the wolves and think to Himself “well I hope they do okay!” and then turn His back on us. My husband used to once think that God had turned His back on him, only to realize later that it was not God who turned His back on him, but he who turned His back on God. Although He will let us “do our own thing”, that is not what He desires for us. I love that He is just a prayer away. He desires for us to walk with Him through life. Maybe you have lost your way a little, maybe you have turned your back, maybe you are considering turning your back on Jesus because maybe it’s just too hard to live as a Christ follower (He will let you because He gave you the gift of choice). Beautiful one, consider this truth. The truth that love did come at a high cost… His name is Jesus, and the cost was dying a brutal death on a cross. But He rose again 3 days later. He didn’t stay dead, I didn’t stay lost. He came back to life, He brought me back to life.
He didn’t stay dead. He came back to life. He can give you life.