Living Water: Finding Jesus at the Empty Well
By Erika Olson
“We don’t have any water. The well broke and now we don’t even have any water to drink.” I stood in the chapel at Luz y Colón, a small desert community in the municipality of General Cepeda, Coahuila, Mexico. We were on a three-week mission with our missionaries in Intake (formation period). It was so good to be back in mission! Especially to be in the place where I served for nearly 2 years, where I first fell in love with missions. The ladies who arrived for our prayer meeting were telling me that their well broke and they had no water.
This was the first of three visits we made to this community. Each night, we sang praise, gave a teaching and shared testimonies. The second night, we prayed over them and with them for their needs and the last night we shared a meal with them. I wished so much to fix their problem, to find enough money to fix their well and fill it with water for them to drink, bathe and cook.
[pullquote1 align=”right” variation=”blue”]“We don’t have any water. The well broke and now we don’t even have any water to drink.”[/pullquote1]One of our Intake missionaries, upon hearing that they had no water, felt inspired to share with them Jesus’ Encounter with the Samaritan Woman at the Well (John 4:1-30). Jesus is wearied from His journey and stops at the well at Noon, the hottest point of the day. The woman is there at this time, which means she is alone. No one else goes to draw water when it’s that hot out, for the trip to the well and the laborious task of lugging the water jars home was far too exhausting. When people did go in the early mornings or evenings, it was a social gathering place. For this Samaritan woman, she was seeking to be alone, to escape the usual crowd. Yet Jesus is there to meet her, to surprise her, to give her the desires of her heart. He asks her for a drink, which not only shocks her, but also opens her to a dialogue with him. He tells her, “‘If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” (v. 10). She is intrigued by this living water, so she inquires:
“Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep; where then can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?”
Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water” (vv. 11-15).
This is a turning point, now she wants what Jesus has to offer her, recognizing that this could be different from all the other things she has looked for to quench her thirst. Jesus even mentions this to her when he prophesies to her about her many husbands and her current relationship. She then admits that maybe, just maybe, Jesus could be this so-called Messiah that is coming to save His people:
The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Anointed; when he comes, he will tell us everything.”
Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking with you.”
At that moment his disciples returned, and were amazed that he was talking with a woman,but still no one said, “What are you looking for?’ or ‘Why are you talking with her?”
The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said to the people, “Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Messiah?”
“They went out of the town and came to him.” (vv. 25-30).
[pullquote1 align=”center” variation=”blue”]Jesus reveals Himself as the Christ, the Savior, the One Who satisfies our souls![/pullquote1]
I love her reaction! The woman who was there to avoid the crowd, rushes into town to tell everyone about Jesus, leaving her jar behind because JESUS has filled her to overflowing! This was the first of three visits we made to this community. Each night we gave a teaching and shared testimonies. The second night, we prayed over them and with them for their needs, and the last night we shared a meal with them.
After we prayed with them the second night, one of the elderly ladies walked up to me and began to share with me: “I had such a beautiful experience tonight. When you were praying over me, I knew that God was with me. I have only felt this once before in my life. When I was sick in the hospital, I prayed and I felt the Lord healing me. I had that same feeling come over me tonight.”
“Praise God! Thank you for sharing that,” I responded.
Along with my fellow Mexican sisters who came to our prayer meeting, Jesus asked me to meet Him at the well. He is still waiting for us to come to Him, in whatever state we find ourselves: tired, thirsty, weary, broken, rejoicing, worried because He wants to fill us to overflowing! It doesn’t mean that I can’t help them to buy more water, or to pay to have their well fixed, “but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)
By Erika Olson