Renee Swope

“Now he had to go through Samaria … and Jesus,
tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When
a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a
drink?'” John 4:4, 6-7 (NIV)

She didn’t know who He was and couldn’t help
but wonder why He was talking to her, a Samaritan woman.

When He spoke,
she heard gentleness in His voice. Kindness and humility in His simple request
for a drink. In His eyes she saw acceptance, not judgment; love, not

Many of us know her as the Samaritan woman, but I like to call her
Sam. It makes her feel more like the real woman she was. A woman who struggled
with hurt, rejection and loneliness.

Today’s key verse says Jesus “had to
go through Samaria.” Yet theologians would tell us Jews considered Samaritans to
be the scum of the earth and would do everything to avoid them. In fact, usually
they would travel around Samaria—but not Jesus.

He had to go through
Samaria. Could it be because He knew Sam would be there?

Typically women
traveled together to the well in the cool of the day, escaping the heat of the
sun since they carried heavy jars filled with water back to their homes. But Sam
walked by herself during the hottest part of the day.

Instead of avoiding
the scorching sun, many believe she went to the well at noon to avoid the
scorching pain of others’ rejection and judgment. Sam had been married five
times and now she was living with a man who wasn’t her husband.

weight of the water-filled jar in the heat must have been almost unbearable, but
the weight of her neighbors’ words, reminding her of her failed marriages, was
more than she could take.

When Jesus met her, Sam was running an errand
and running from those who knew of her failures, shame and imperfections.
Pursuing her with His perfect love, Jesus timed it so she would run into

He initiated conversation and asked her for the one thing she had to
offer: water. It wasn’t much but it was a start.

Sam stopped and
listened. She let Him speak words of assurance and acceptance into the broken,
insecure, empty places of her heart.

In the same way Jesus intentionally
pursued Sam in one of the loneliest parts of her day, He is there in the midst
of your sometimes lonely, imperfect life. He is there when your disappointments
and failures leave you empty and make you doubt your worth and

He is there when you’re going through the motions, aware of what
needs to be done but unaware of how you’re going to do it all.

He is
there during endless days filled with projects, diapers or laundry when you’re
wondering if you’ll ever find meaning in the monotony.

He is there when
you’re criticizing yourself and questioning whether you have what it takes to be
a Godly woman.

He sees you. He notices all you do and He knows all that
you long for. In fact, Jesus is the only One who can meet your deepest need to
be known, accepted and pursued simply because of who you are.

Today He is
pursing you with His gift of perfect love—love that is patient and kind, love
that keeps no record of your wrongs, love that won’t give up on you. Wherever
you are, whatever you are doing, He is there. Will you take time to stop and
talk to Him and then quiet your thoughts so you can listen to His?

Lord, thank You for pursuing me. I want to know and rely on the love You have
for me, and live in the security of it! When I feel afraid, insignificant or
alone, help me turn to You and remember You are there! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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