Unexpected Encounter

She walked to the well as usual to draw water on this particular day. Since she was an outcast from her society, she came at midday because she wasn’t welcome to join the “other women” of the town in the morning when it was cool. She was unmarried, living with a man and had shacked up with a few other guys before her current beau. She had messed up. She wasn’t perfect, unlike the “other women” of the town who obviously thought they were.

BUT-------The Woman at the Well, as referred to in John 4, had an unexpected encounter with Jesus that particular day when He asked her to give Him a drink of water. She was a bit confused that this man had asked her to give him a drink of water since He was a Jew, and she was a woman of Samaria for which the Jews had no dealings. (vs, 7-10)

As their conversation continued, He spoke to her of the living water that He could give her where she would never thirst again, and in her own words she explained her encounter this way: “He told me everything I ever did, including the fact that I had had five husbands, and the one I am living with now is not even my husband.”  (vs. 10-29)

History records that after this encounter, this woman wasn’t merely instrumental in bringing her own village to salvation, but she spent the rest of her life traveling about the towns in the area and brought many to faith in Jesus.

Recently, while studying this familiar passage of scripture, I was reminded of the many “unexpected encounters” I had had with the Lord over the years.  My first, of course, was the moment of salvation.  After that, there were many times He, indeed, told me things about myself that only He knew; things I had not dared share with another.  

  • He told me about hurts from my past.
  • He told me about His healing power from those hurts.
  • He told me about the failures I had held onto that He had forgiven.
  • He told me about my new identity in Him.
  • He told me about His plan and purpose for me, despite my feelings of inadequacies.

Just like the woman at the well, He seemingly has told me everything there is to know about me over the years, even things that I didn’t know about myself, at least I thought He had.

I have always been so grateful for the healing that has taken place in my encounters with the Lord that has allowed me to keep on dreaming and keep on pursuing the purpose for which He has created me to be.

However, as I reflected upon this passage once again, He seemed to be saying something different to me:  “You are living on your past encounters. You need a fresh encounter with me.” 

Something instantly leaped up inside of me that filled me with excitement. I know that a fresh encounter with the Lord awaits me.  When?  Just like the Woman at the Well, I don’t have a clue when that will be.

I’d like to conclude with two questions for you to think about: 

  1. Are you living on your past encounters with the Lord, or is it time for a fresh one?
  2. Was the meeting the woman had at the well a coincidence or a God incident? What leads you to your conclusion?

See you in the comments.

Martha Bush

Style Speaks V: Dare to Dream
Interactive Faith & Fashion Conference


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