“I don’t know what is wrong with me”, she said.
“No matter what I do or who I am with it is never enough. I feel depleted and I don’t’ know what I need. I over eat. I drink too much. I work like crazy. I am a failure at exercise. My husband isn’t meeting my needs. What is my problem?”
I have heard the story countless times as a Life Coach.
It is the same story with men, but in a different vernacular.
“I’m not enough for her.”
“I work and work and still there is something missing.”
“Nothing ever seems to be satisfying. I had an affair to try to fill the emptiness I feel, and it was worse in the end. And I didn’t feel satisfied.”
I’ve bought cars, boats, motor homes, etc etc…..still nothing. I am not happy.
The continued search to find something on this earth to fill our empty places is costly.
Life with Jesus is much more than an entrance into Heaven. It is an abundant, satisfying life. But how does this work to satisfy my existence now?
How does He become the depth of my desire, and get me off this merry go round?
I think some clues lie in the life of a woman whom we don’t even know her name. The Samaritan woman.
Jesus was tired and thirsty and walked over to sit on the rim of a well in Samaria, which was a forbidden place for Jews, by the way. Jesus was not a rule follower or a conformist.
John 4 is where you will find the story.
“And Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, tired as He was from His journey, sat down [to rest] by the well. It was then about the sixth hour (about noon). Presently, when a woman of Samaria came along to draw water, Jesus said to her, Give Me a drink—“
This was not just by happenstance. Jesus always knew exactly what He was doing.
“The Samaritan woman said to Him, How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan [and a] woman, for a drink?—For the Jews have nothing to do with the Samaritans—Jesus answered her, If you had only known and had recognized God’s gift and Who this is that is saying to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him [instead] and He would have given you living water.”
If she only knew who she was talking to …..
“She said to Him, Sir, You have nothing to draw with [no drawing bucket] and the well is deep; how then can You provide living water? [Where do You get Your living water?] Are You greater than and superior to our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well and who used to drink from it himself, and his sons and his cattle also? Jesus answered her, All who drink of this water will be thirsty again. But whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall never, no never, be thirsty any more. But the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling) [continually] within him unto (into, for) eternal life.”
Is there a clue here? He goes on to say He knows she has had 5 husbands and is now living with a man, to which she marvels that He knows this.
Does He condemn her?
Does He judge her or throw rocks?
No, what He does do is tell her if she only knew Who she was talking to she wouldn’t need all of those men to try to fill a need that was impossible by earthly means.
But, He would fill her hurting heart.
He offered Himself.
He went there to talk to only her that day. Think of it; The town fornicator….the cast off among women in her town.
She was lost and needed to know that He could fill her and show His love for her so she wouldn’t need to keep riding the merry go round of men, who were also needy.
He heard the cry of her needy heart.
Here are six things I noticed about this woman as relates to so many of us in one way or another:
1. She was too needy to keep a man. She smothered them trying to find fulfillment and importance.
2. She obviously chose the same type of man each time. Do we see a pattern?
3. She was looking for someone to make her feel more than what she felt about herself.
4. She is convinced she is incompetent and less than. Why do you think she was at the well at a time of day the other women weren’t there? (Well, except for avoiding gossip.)
5. She didn’t feel like a woman without a man.
6. She could never get enough—a pit of neediness.
Do any of her issues ring a bell in your life at one time or another?
“She said to Him, Sir, You have nothing to draw with [no drawing bucket] and the well is deep; how then can You provide living water? [Where do You get Your living water?]”
She asked Him that if He had no bucket how could she draw the water for Him. This is what I hear (in my translation),
“Sir, You have no bucket for me to draw You water.”
He replied, “YOU ARE THE BUCKET!!!”
It seems that when we allow Him to fill us apart from every other earthly thing, we are not only filled to the brim, but it fills Him too!!!
He is hungry for us.
He wants relationship with us!!
She left her water jar at the well and ran into town to tell the people about Him. She became the first Evangelist!!
Metaphorically speaking, she left her water bucket because she became the bucket and He filled her with living water.
Jesus allows us to enter into times of emptiness because He wants us to see that only He can fill us. Otherwise we would not pursue Him. He uncovers things that are ugly in us (like the woman’s many men) because He wants to diffuse the bomb getting ready to go off in our heads of pure neediness. We seek out the filling of our empty hearts with addictions, relationships, children, marriage, jobs, flattery, and so many other things, only to find ourselves still empty and lonely.
Relationship with Him should be first, and then He says He will add all of these other things to us. He knows we will remain in defeat if we don’t find the secret of filling our buckets of need with His living water.
Believe it or not, a number of years ago, my addiction was ministry. The attention from people and my apparent self ascribed holiness brought me the needed validation that I was important, because inside I felt unimportant and useless. After all, I was doing a God thing. I was in the ministry. People loved me. But inside I was empty. I had all the outward things to admire, but inside I was so alone and lost and hurting. I appeared spiritual but I had not found the Living Water yet. (You can find my whole story in my book Climbing Out of the Box, http://www.amazon.com/Climbing-Out-The-Box-Spiritual/dp/1478296852)
So, I worked and worked to achieve greatness. But it all exploded in my face because Jesus wanted to fill my bucket that was empty….and I had to learn a few things.
I am still learning and still growing. But I know HIM now. Really know HIM. He fills my bucket with fresh living water every day. I would die from thirst if He did not.