When the company asked us to move to Paris for several years, we decided to keep our house in the States so that we would have a place to return to when we came home. It seemed like a good plan at the time. Of course, leaving the house meant having to do a bit of preparation work.
We knew if we weren’t physically able to be there to water our lawn, the lawn would soon turn to dirt and dust. The long, hot summer days would take their toll on the grass. So, we put in a sprinkler system.
I remember the day the men came to begin installing the system. I stood in the window of one of our upstairs bedrooms, surveying the fairly green lawn, and thought, this yard looks good enough. In my mind, I wondered if we were wasting our money. It would be okay if we just left it as it is. And then the digging began.
The men ran trenches from front to back and side to side. Within an hour or so, the lawn was a mess. Dirt was everywhere, with very little green grass visible. What a disaster! Of course, my first thought was, “STOP- STOP! Stop digging up my nice green grass; this destruction is not worth it.” By the end of the day, the watering system was in, and the trenches filled back up with dirt. The lawn looked more suitable than it had while all dug up, but it still looked pretty sad. I chuckled, “It looks like a gang of gigantic moles has partied under the lawn. Could this possibly be worth it?”
But today, if you asked me the same question, I would say, “oh yes, now my lawn is so much stronger, so much greener, and so much healthier. The water was needed to sustain the lawn while we were out of the country.” Even though it didn’t seem to make sense, I knew the only way to get life-giving water to the lawn was to tear it up and lay the pipes.
Speaking to a Samaritan woman by a well…
Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
“Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
“Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.
“I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”…
…The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah!”
Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?”
The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him.John4:13-17,25-30
To lead her to the amazing gift of grace, Jesus dug into the Samaritan women’s life at the well. He already knew the heart of this woman, He knew her situation, and He knew she needed Him. Jesus was fully aware of her past, her search for a lasting love. He knew she had been looking in all the wrong places. Places that would never truly satisfy. Underneath the surface, she was “thirsty for truth” as her life was unsatisfying, and real peace eluded her.
But for her to recognize her need, Jesus gently began preparing her heart by plowing it up. He started asking questions to expose the truth. Jesus revealed the truth of her situation gently and patiently. Little by little, He helped her to see her neediness. “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her. “I don’t have a husband,” she responded. “You are right; you don’t have a husband, for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the one you are living with now. You certainly spoke the truth.” Jesus wasn’t digging up “her dirt” to make her feel bad or inferior. No, he was digging it up to expose her heart condition-a heart that ached for God’s loyal love, peace and joy.
She now began to awaken to what Jesus was offering her. Her life, which at a superficial level seemed tolerable to her, was now being plowed up and exposed. She could not deny her deep heart-longing for a Savior any longer. The shallowness of her unfulfilling life was uncovered. She needed the living water Jesus had to offer. The gloriously refreshing and thirst quenching water. As Jesus talked, her thirst progressively became stronger. The woman at the well was becoming aware of the gift of God’s living water. She could finally have her thirst satisfied.
Grace, God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense, what a gift we don’t deserve. Have you been thirsty enough to receive God’s grace, His gift of a clean slate, a “do-over” of sorts, a fresh start with the God known for His unfailing love and thirst quenching life? Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) If you want this kind of a fresh start Jesus offers, allow Him to unearth the things in your life that He needs to expose.
Maybe you already know Jesus, and he is also digging around in your life. Perhaps he is revealing to you a heart that is far from Him. If this is you, repent, and turn your life the 180 degrees that He is asking you to turn. Accept with gusto the overflowing forgiveness He offers, and then ask Him to fill you with His abundant Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.'” When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him.” (John 7: 37-39)
Sometimes when the unsatisfying things of this world are exposed, extraordinarily beautiful things happen. God’s grace is one of those very extraordinary things. He is available to all who want to call on Him.