Community & Friendship · Faith · love · Preaching · Women to Women Ministry

How to Find the Love You’ve Been Longing For When Hope’s Been Dashed into A 1000 Pieces

Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.

But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13-14 (NKJV)

Apparently, we women have always been searching, and us sisters have always been running…

Apparently, we women still dream and hope and pin our emotions on some men who don’t reciprocate, and we end up in confusion

And apparently, what we women want deep within hadn’t changed.

From the beginning of time when sin was first conceived to the end of time where sin masquerades sex as love, we women deep within still long for a love that remains, a love that fulfils, a love that’s true…

When I met her again, her eyes were doing all the telling…Heavy with tears, her unspoken depth was crying for some relief. My friend has been looking for a place where her weary feet and her burdened soul can find respite. This desire to be deeply known and to be wholly owned, can send us looking for love in all the wrong places.

So I told her this story – the same story I have carried across two church podiums – the same message I have shared with the kids munching over some breakfast cookies at our kitchen counter.

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Hers was a story of painful rejectionand hers became the story of a powerful redemption. She had been running, she had been hiding, and she was finally transformed by God’s true love.

And this is what I shared at church, and with the kids, and with my friend…

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Five failed marriages!

This Samaritan woman has a past that she would rather not reveal. From one arm to another, she has grown disillusioned of the hope of finding her true love. So desperate she was that the man she was with was not even married to her…

Five was the number she had strived for to make love  happen, five was the attempts she had made to piece life the way it was meant to be, five was her recapturing of some old dreams and reinventing of a new future…

Whatever her details, we know that this Samaritan woman was walking about with a barrage of shame, guilt and fear…

No wonder she decided to make her way through the hottest part of the day, no wonder she didn’t mind the blazing heat upon her back as she draws her water…as long as she didn’t have to deal with the taunt of other women…

Heartbroken and lonely, without respect and without rights…this Samaritan woman represents the voices of our sisterhood today – women with a deep thirst for one consistent, sacrificial, unconditional, wholly committed love. Women who would give anything away for love to fill all the deep spaces of the empty abyss – and so, really, this is a story of us, this is a story of our own redemption – and of how God can remake our one broken, damaged life.

What could have led her to such a long and complicated entanglements we do not know, but she was thirsty, and propelled by her inner thirst, and she was searching…

Going from one relationship to the next, she fell deeper into this bottomless confusion, because the truth is that sex alone isn’t love – and giving away ourselves to anyone stain every part of our individuality – our emotion, our confidence, our relationships…

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So that day Jesus left Judea to go to Galilee passing through Samaria. Samaria however was not a place where Jews wanted to visit. Samaria was a contaminated soil. But the verse that says “Jesus had to go through Samaria” means that he was driven by a spiritual necessity to meet with a woman with no social standing at all. She was indeed a moral outcast, and socially marginalized. Jesus was deliberately reaching across every human divide, every racial, cultural, gender and moral barrier to connect with her

And Jesus initiated a conversation with this woman which bewildered her. “You are a Jew, you are asking me, a Samaritan, and a woman, for a drink? Are you out of your mind?” . The woman was shocked, because Jews and Samaritans just didn’t mingle – they were bitter enemies. It was simply scandalous for a Jewish man to talk to a Samaritan woman in public.

Instead of being hung up with political correctness, Jesus cut straight to the core and addressed the deeper issue of her heart and started talking to her about living water, and had her asking, “Pardon me? There is a well that never runs dry? Who are you? You don’t even have a bucket to draw the water with.” Jesus further surprised her by saying that whoever drinks from the water He gives will never ever be thirsty again. But that this water will become a spring of living water, welling up, flowing and bubbling within her unto eternal life.

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While the woman was talking about physical thirst, Jesus was talking about something much deeper – that of a soul and spiritual thirst that each and every one of us has.

Jesus uses this living water as a metaphor to eternal life. It is life saving, perpetually satisfying and will become a spring of water welling up continually WITHIN us, to eternal life.

This is so profound – because Jesus was talking that the actual source of that water will be from within us and not from the outside. Many of us try to fill our inner emptiness with achievements from the outside, hoping for a deep satisfaction that lasts through career, romance, social repute or a righteous political cause. But whatever we think can make us happy, satisfied, fulfilled, will leave us all the more empty when they are sought for apart from Christ.

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This woman wanted it. She knew she didn’t have it yet. So she asked for it, and Jesus replied – “Go get your husband,” to which she replied, “I don’t have a husband.” And Jesus further responded, “You are right. You have had 5 husbands and the man you are living with now is not your husband.”

The woman was so taken aback that she said, “You are a prophet”, to which later on Jesus dropped the bomb and revealed himself as the Messiah to her.

We’ve gotta understand that Jesus was pointing to her the fact that she has been seeking for this internal satisfaction through men, and it hasn’t satisfied and will never satisfy, and is in fact, eating her alive. Jesus is saying to her that she worship Him and put Him as the centre of her life, she will never have her thirst quenched. Whatever we worship apart from Him will enslave us and leave us all the more empty.

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I know and I have been…

For all our wandering and for all our meandering, the message this Christmas is God asking us one question – where are you…towards Me?”

So when the kids have finished and gone and washed hands and mouths and I have closed the Book, I sent them to the games room and gave them a box and two bags filled with seeds and beans and grains, and asked them to make a sensory box where arthropods can thrive and animal farms can live.

So soon they were lost in this happy wonder of hands rummaging through the beans, seeds being scooped up in tiny buckets, and loose grains being cupped on their palms – and I can’t help but think how love can often run loose through our grip when we grasp for control, but how love can grow strong and full when we open fist and trust in Him. 

Apparently sin began when we hide from God – Eve turning away from true wisdom for what she presumed would make her wise, and Eve looking for an infilling for her vacuumed soul for what she thought would fill her full.

And us? When we run from the Tree, the Bread and the River of Life, we run from One who would truly nourish and supply us deeply – God Himself.

It’s true that we only find ourselves when we find Him, and we are only made whole when we allow Him to pick up all of our broken pieces – to remake us.

And the impact of this woman’s one changed life? She became the town’s evangelist overnight. She became eternally significant though she had a past unbearable.

Could it be that the way to sustain a personal revival is to encounter a real fire, because this deep connection we are longing for? – it’s not in the physical, it’s in the spirit man

And when we allow Him to build us from the inside? He will weave us back into Him – and His love will heal all our broken pieces back into HOPE...

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So just for today, however the day may look, whatever struggles may loom, He wants to fill our wearied souls with rest from His love, so that we can lean on, breathe deep and trust full in Him, and this hand of God over our lives? – He carries all of us on His palm, and none of our pieces will ever fall out.

One thought on “How to Find the Love You’ve Been Longing For When Hope’s Been Dashed into A 1000 Pieces

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