Growing up in a home with Christian parents who sent me to a Christian school and took me to church twice a week, I know my Bible stories. Unfortunately, Christian kids can become immune to how incredible the stories in the Bible are and the true meaning behind them.
It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties, weeks after I became Mrs. Chealey, when I realized that I had no relationship with Jesus. A true One-on-one relationship. And I craved what I lacked. So I dug into the Bible with the desire to know my Savior. I couldn’t get close enough to the One I asked to come into my life on the playground with Miss Christensen in 2nd grade.
He became more than the baby in the manger and the Easter story of the cross and the grave was something I no longer took lightly. He became Someone I don’t want to live without. I’d love to say that since that day of revelation I have become one of Jesus’ faithful followers, but I’d be lying to you. I once again became immune to His greatness and somewhere along the way, I decided to see how life is off of the narrow path. Without Jesus.
What’s weird is that even when we choose life without Jesus, being a Christian goes from salvation to just a label of religion. Casually claimed, as if we have the right to drag His name through any depth of mud. In boldness, Christ is denied as we’re being twirled around the dance floor with no other than the devil. I can’t blame Satan for the choices I made, because for one…I knew better. For two, sometimes I was the one to ask for his hand to dance. Sometimes I even chose the music we danced to and even choreographed our moves.
In growing in relationship with Jesus, I realized that any emptiness in my life, He was the only One capable of filling any holes. He was the only One able to save me from myself and the choices of sin I thought I deserved to live out. Fortunately, I had seeds planted in me at a young age of Who God is. I was surrounded by Christian friends, teachers and coaches growing up. I was invested in, but in an instant, I willingly left all that I knew behind to chase something to fill my emptiness that could never fill God’s shoes. I lost friends. I hurt my family, but most important I was no different than Peter who denied Jesus.
Emptiness is what led me into another man’s bed. Emptiness is what held my hand into the abortion clinic to kill the evidence of my affair. Emptiness is what got me tempted to want to reunite with an old boyfriend through Facebook a long time ago. Thankfully, that is an emptiness I let Jesus fill and we are no longer friends.
Listen, when we have empty spaces in our life, the devil will not wait for invitation, he will barge in and try to kill all Jesus has done in your life. He will try to steal the joy you once had only found in Jesus and the father of lies will hold nothing back when it comes to destroying your family. The more he can get from you to display in his trophy case and mock God with, the happier the piece of garbage is at the end of the day.
My friend, Renee Swope, has a book out called A Confident Heart. In this she shares the story of the Samaritan woman famously knows as the woman at the well. A story I heard told many times at home, school and church growing up. One I had become immune to until I read Renee’s words and how she shared it, even calling the unnamed woman Sam.
For those not familiar with the story of “Sam”, she is a woman who went to draw water from a well that Jesus just so happened to be at…waiting for her. She was a woman who had been married 5 times prior and was currently living with her boyfriend. The townspeople made fun of her life and she had withdrawn herself from her family and friends to live the life she wanted.
Jesus knew all of this and purposely made it a point to meet up with her in the middle of her day. Holy interruption was about to cut her off of the wide path she had chosen and she had no idea life as she knew was about to change for good. Here is what Renee wrote in chapter 2…
Jesus timed it so that she would run into Him and find perfect love. He initiated conversation and asked her for the one thing she had to offer: water. It wasn’t much, but it was a starting point. Sam could have easily filled her jar and headed back home, returning to her busy day. But she stopped and listened. Jesus met Sam in one of the loneliest parts of her day. In the same way, He is there waiting for us in the midst of our imperfect lives, when our pain and failures confirm our self-doubts. He is there waiting for us when we’re going through the motions, aware of what needs to be done but unaware of how we’re going to do it. He is there on those mornings when we can’t stop criticizing ourselves for blowing it the day before; when we go to work and wonder why we’re even there.
If you’ve ever doubted God’s personal pursuit of you, let this truth sink in, my friend: wherever you are, He wants to meet you there. He is waiting for you to stop, come up close, and turn your heart to listen to His. You don’t have to pretend things are fine when they aren’t. He knows what is going on in your thoughts. Nothing could keep Him from wanting to be with you. He invites you to come to Him to receive the perfect love He offers—love that casts out fear, love that is patient and kind, love that keeps no record of wrongs.
That is what He offered Sam, and it’s what He offers you and me.
WOW! Why the heck wouldn’t we want that?
The story in John 4 (click here to read it), goes on to say how Sam accepted what Jesus offered and left her water jar to run back to the town to tell the people about her Savior. I love this in John 4:39-41 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to Him, they urged Him to stay with them, and He stayed two days. And because of His words many more became believers.
If you are a woman at the well today, no matter what your current living arrangement is or the secret sin you are carrying, know that Jesus sees you. He can tell you everything you have ever done or are doing.
He knows your story and is crazy about you. He wants you…AS IS.
And sweet sister, know that IF you choose to say yes to His offer to you, others will see you. And because of how you let Him change your life, just like the unsuspecting Samaritans that day, there will be many more that become believers.
He’s just that good.
*To read chapter one and order Renee’s book, A Confident Heart click here.