Empty Wells

A couple years back my brother Kyle was out mowing his lawn when suddenly the earth beneath him began to swallow the mower he happened to be riding. I can only imagine what was running through his mind as he tried to straddle the giant hole while holding himself and his mower up from going in. Now, after I had finished laughing at the image his story had painted in my mind, I was curious, what in the world could it have been. Oddly enough, it was a well. The well isn’t operational anymore and he has since covered it up, but as I thought about this enormous hole in my brother’s yard, it caused me to think about the Samaritan woman.

John 4:3-15, “He left Judea and went again to Galilee. He had to travel through Samaria; so he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar near the property that Jacob had given his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, worn out from his journey, sat down at the well. It was about noon. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. “Give me a drink,” Jesus said to her, because his disciples had gone into town to buy food. “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” she asked him. For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would ask him, and he would give you living water.” “Sir,” said the woman, “you don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. So where do you get this ‘living water’? You aren’t greater than our father Jacob, are you? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and livestock.” Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.”  “Sir,” the woman said to him, “give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and come here to draw water.”

The Samaritan woman had likely been showing up at this well for much of her life, drawing water each day only to have to run back again and again. I’m sure the well felt mundane and old. I’d even be willing to bet she probably imagined some kind of system that would cause water to come to her inside her home. She likely dreamed of everlasting water.

The day Jesus showed up in Samaria He was there on appointment. Verse four indicates He had to go, but according to scripture, He could’ve gone around like most Jews would have done. However, Jesus had to go through to meet a woman by a well. If you continue to read on in John 4:16-26, you will find while this woman was interested in what Jesus had to offer, she’d have to stop drawing from the current well in her life, the well she’d likely always drawn from. She had been married four times and was currently living with a man. I think maybe she had been trying to find fulfillment in these men but was never really satisfied. She had been drinking from a well, but the water she was drinking left her feeling empty.

Maybe you too have a well you’ve been drinking from, but it isn’t satisfying like you had hoped. Perhaps it’s a well of addiction, alcohol, or lust. Possibly it’s overeating, shopping, physical fitness, social media, or finances. There are more wells to choose from today than ever before. I have even been to some of these wells and I can tell you from experience that they never satisfy, only Jesus can give us the water that genuinely fills. Without the living water (John 7:37-38) of Christ, we are never really living, we are only existing. And just as Jesus showed up to bring living water to the woman at the well, He came to do the same for you and me. So, from what well are you drawing? What well do you run to day after day hoping to be filled? Jesus is ready and willing to give you water that satisfies your thirst. Will you drink from His well or will you continue to draw from empty ones?  

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. Psalm 42:1


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