Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again.
But anyone who drinks the water I give them will never be thirsty.
I was asked recently about my favorite woman in the bible. Not something I think about often. Not something I can answer easily. I could choose among many and for many different reasons, but the question was not related to virtue, but rather - to relation; how I identified with her. What aspect of my testimony caused me to identify with her.
Still, there were so many and for so many different reasons. I think of those who were in the lineage of Christ, some of whose lives were scandalous and yet, became a part of scandalous grace. I'm rummaging through the list of names in my mind, but there's this one, nameless woman that keeps coming to my heart: the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4.
When I think about my testimony, I think about encountering Jesus. I think about what I was like, there in that moment - and how my life was altered by that encounter. How I'd been surprised, caught off-guard even, that He would even speak to me after all I'd done, all that I'd become.
"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters" (Isaiah 55:1).
I had found myself in a season of life I never thought I'd be in. I was alone, divorced, desperate and looking to everything and everyone around me to quench the parched condition of my soul. I'd wanted to be invisible, hidden from others, hidden from God. But He saw me, just as He saw the woman at the well. He didn't just see her physically, but he saw her. Her past. Her present. Her future. Her thirst.
He tells her, "Everyone who drinks this [well] water will be thirsty again. But anyone who drinks the water I give them will never be thirsty."
And she wants it, this living water, this Spirit of grace - which is the Spirit of God.
She runs back to her village, leaving her water jar beside the well (v. 28).
Leaving her water jar beside the well.
Because, she'd learned, in that brief, but life-altering encounter with Jesus that nothing else would ever satisfy her soul.
And I think about that night, the one in which I laid down my own water jar, whispering, "Yes, I want that kind of water, Jesus, the kind that flows from within."
As Matthew Henry said, "Of whatever waters of comfort we drink, we shall thirst again. But whoever partakes of the Spirit of grace, and the comforts of the gospel, shall never want that which will abundantly satisfy his soul."
The other part of the question was what I felt that modern women could learn from this particular woman. And oh, the answer is as obvious as it seems. That we may become women who thirst for righteousness; women who abandon our jars, right there at edge of the well - the well of 'whatever waters of comfort' we are currently standing; that we may encounter Jesus and return, as she did, to our villages, our inner circles, those within our reach proclaiming, "Come and see!"; that we may offer a sip, a taste of His living water, this spirit of grace that is within us.