“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Has the Lord ever given you a promise, a dream, or a sense of something He has called you to that seems difficult, if not somewhat impossible to you? Are you like me when I look at the dreams God has placed on my heart? Sometimes, all I can see are the many reasons why the dreams cannot become realities? Oh, I wish I could honestly state that I receive God’s promises and promptings with immovable faith, but I cannot. Last week, my husband and I were discussing one of those dreams that we believe God has placed on our hearts. As obstacles arose and the possibility of the dream looked a bit bleak, my husband did not waiver in his faith and trust in Jesus. I, on the other hand, could only see the “Realities” that seemed to be in opposition to the desire I believe God has given us. Our conversation quickly became a wake-up call for me in how I often respond with negativity and a lack of trust in God when the dream doesn’t look possible. Let’s examine two antithetical responses to God’s promise as recorded in John chapter four regarding the woman who met Jesus at the well.
A Samaritan woman came to the well that had been owned by Jacob many years prior. Jesus traveled quite a way from Judea on his way to Galilee through an indirect route which placed him in Sychar. The Jews and Samaritans did not exactly mix or have good relationships with each other. Additionally, a Jewish man was not to speak to a Samaritan woman. Nonetheless, Jesus approached the Samaritan woman and asked her for a drink of water. Don’t you love the way Jesus loved outside all of the legalistic and cultural boxes? I do! Shockingly, the woman let Jesus know that He had overstepped the cultural “Boundaries.” Go Jesus! Then, Jesus offered to meet her physical and spiritual needs by letting the woman know that He has “Living Water” to offer. What a promise from God! And, what was her response? The Samaritan woman informed Jesus why His offer was not possible, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep” (John 4:15). Her response was so much like my own responses to God’s promises. Often, I am blinded by my own doubts and fears and choose to see all the reasons why the promise is not possible. Can you relate?
After spending more time with Jesus, again, He offers living water to her. Now, her answer is quite different from her initial response to Jesus. I can almost hear the longing in her voice, “The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water” (John 4:15). What happened in the exchange between Jesus and the Samaritan woman to cause her heart to see past the alleged impossibilities of His promise being fulfilled in her life? Unfortunately, Scripture does not give us many details surrounding her encounter with Jesus. We know that their encounter was significant enough that she left her water jar, the very reason she came to the well in the first place, because she was filled with the water that fully and completely satiates. Also, Scripture records that many from Samaria believed on Jesus because she shared with the townspeople of her encounter with Jesus, “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did’ ” (John 4:39). Wow!
Through spending time with the Living God, there came a point in the Samaritan’s woman exchange with Jesus that her heart was able to see past what only her earthly eyes could perceive. Now, because of this exchange, she was able to trust in our Lord’s words of promise, His heart for her, and His obvious trustworthy nature. As a result, she was able to make a decision to lean not on her own understanding, rather to lean on the One who would always support her and was strong enough to brace her leaning. Aren’t you thankful that this same Jesus is the One we can lean on today? He can handle anything that comes our way and longs for us to lean on Him. Where do you need to lean on Him and His promises, making the transition from your “Own understanding” to trusting in Him with all your heart? Who are you leaning on? Oh, friend, choose to lean on Him today. : )
Scripture verses taken from The New International Version of the Bible
“Life emerges in our hearts by spending time with the Life-giver.” Julie Smith