This past Sunday, Dr. Fel continued his series: 7 Miracles in the Gospel of John by sharing a famous story in John chapter 4 – The Woman at the Well. His main emphasis on the story was characterized by this idea:
“Seeing is Not Believing”
When you think about it, this idea can be immediately confronting. Because whether you’re someone who takes time with spiritual things or not, we all find a certain security in “seeing” before we fully buy into something. For example, you can bet that before I buy those Nike Waffle Runner Cross Trainers on eBay, I’m going to want to see a picture of them; I’m going to ensure that they’re brand new, unworn, and that they’re my size. I may even choose to talk with the seller of the shoes–because I’m certainly not going to take a complete stranger’s word for it. Before I pay the price, I want to see what I’m investing in.
As I reflect on John 4, it seems that the woman in this story felt the same way. Each time Jesus said something to her, she responded with rather sensible, yet analytical reasoning. Some examples:
- JESUS: “Give me a drink of your water.”
The Woman: “How is it that you—A Jew—are asking me—A Samaritan—for a drink?”
- JESUS: “If you knew the gift I had for you, and on top of that—who I am—you’d be asking me before I could offer it –and it would be the good stuff.”
The Woman: “Well, you don’t have a bucket to give me this “good stuff,” so how’s that even going to happen?”
The Woman (still talking): “You think you’re greater than our forefather-Jacob who actually built this well?”
- JESUS: “Look, I love my man, Jacob. But all I’m going to say is this — if you rely solely on this water, you’ll get thirsty again. But my water that I give –will satisfy your deepest longings without end. Never brief, and never fleeting.”
Now, by this point, it actually looks like the woman is folding. It looks as if she may buy in and give this guy, Jesus, a try. But what happens next should be noted. See her response in verse 15:
“Sir, give me this water, so I won’t be thirsty or (have to) come all the way here to get water.”
And look at how Jesus responds:
“Go, call your husband and come here.”
Isn’t that strange? Jesus didn’t even respond to her request. He didn’t give her…anything.
He asked her for something.
He asked for her situation, her past, and her baggage. -Because come to find out, the woman in fact was not married, rather she had been married five times and was currently living with someone who wasn’t her husband. And Jesus knew this. You see, to Jesus, seeing was not believing; trust is believing. Jesus was inviting this woman into his abundant and fulfilling life —as she invited Him into her fragmented mess. The divine exchange was taking place, but only as the woman chose to look deeper than what Jesus offered her—to ultimately trust Him with her whole self (baggage and all).
What about you?
Do you ever find yourself waiting to fully depend on God for something—until you somehow have his solution fully figured out? I know I do. But the truth is, that’s not faith. Because faith is not always seeing (Hebrews 11:1), faith is trust. And sometimes –most times, God has more in store than meets the eye.
Let this be your prayer today:
God, help me to trust you, even in those times I don’t yet-fully see the solution you have for me. With your help, I open my heart to trust you with those dark, untouched places. -I believe you will shine your light and make them new. Thank you Jesus. Amen