Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Accomplishment and Reflection

It has been SO long since I have been able to blog. I have almost forgotten that I know how to blog. And looking at some of the dust that has accumulated on my bible is a little disappointing. These past couple of months have been crazy busy. You think, oh life surely will not be as busy in the summer! WRONG! It’s more busy.  I’m realizing there will never be a season in life that is “not busy.”

This semester has been so great though. I had not sat down, until today, to really reflect on all of the wonderful things that have happened.  For those that know me, know I am a goal-oriented person. In December/January I started to formulate some of my goals. The first goal was to run a half marathon. Again, for those that know me, know that I am not very athletic and had never run more than 2 miles before I started training for the Bearathon. By the grace of God, I survived without crawling to the finish line (even despite strong urges). 

My second goal, was to pass and complete the 4 sections of the Certified Public Accountant exam. I started the process of studying in January. I had no idea how hard it would be. It zapped my mental strength every day I studied. Thankfully, yesterday I found out I passed all 4 exams. Praise the Lord! As close friends and family would tell you, there was not a single test I felt like I passed walking out of the exam. By the grace of God, I am done with my tests!

My third goal, was to move and get settled in Houston and find a church home. I became an official member of First Baptist Houston last weekend. By the grace of God, I found an awesome place to live close to downtown, a great roommate, I start work at Deloitte next week and have a new church to call home.

It feels great to accomplish things. As I talked about in past blogs, I LOVE checking things off the list. So this week, is the first week without a single thing to check off my list (besides the monotonous chores of cleaning and laundry – that can wait right?)I have one week of freedom until I start work and I don’t even know what to do with myself.  Should I pick up my study materials again and study for fun? What about running again?  Should I look for a new place to live? You see the past couple of months I have become so distracted with life that I have slowly forgotten who inspired my goals, hopes, and desires. So now, in the quietness of life with no exotic trips, people to see, things to study for, I sit here feeling a little empty. I had filled up my schedule with goals and achieving that the goals themselves became a distraction. It’s really hard to admit that, because all of me wants to say what I did the past couple of months has been SO great and I have a lot to be proud of. God softly tells me that this is not true. 

This morning I opened up my quiet time, the first time, in a month and God spoke to me like only He does through Philippians 2. 

Paul tells the people:

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
To me, this hit home today.  If I have any encouragement in being united with Christ (which I do the day I became a Christian) then Paul is saying be moved by something greater than myself. This passage tells me to have the same love as Christ, devoting my mind and spirit to this goal.  On top of it, he tells me to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. This is where I am personally convicted, because looking back at the list of the goals and accomplishments I am called to separate myself from them in order to not have vain conceit or selfish ambitions. This is really hard, because the physical Lindsay did all of these things. I ran every 13.1 miles of the way. Believe me, I took every 3-4 hour torturous test. I moved a lot of boxes into my house and I interviewed for my job. And God tells me to separate myself from my accomplishments in order to do nothing out of selfish ambition? At first I am instantly deflated.  But I am called to be moved by something greater than myself. I am called to give up my accomplishments to Him in order to have humility. I am called to value others above me. You see, God knows me and my heart and my sinful nature so well that he knows if I were to start hanging my hat on my list of my accomplishments I would most definitely let it get in the way of reaching others. It would most definitely get in the way of living a higher purpose in life, where I am called to be His hands and feet and to love others. Because the only reason I was ever able to accomplish anything is through the strength of Christ Jesus in me (Philippians 4:13)
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
The middle of the passage is great, I recommend that you read it but I am going to point out verses 12 and 13.  It’s like Paul speaks exactly to me. He said, friends- continue obeying. I do feel like I have obeyed God’s call in my life. I don’t feel like I have strayed from God’s will, I just feel like I have let it overcome me. So I should continue to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. You see, God planted my will and desires in my heart. He did it to fulfill His good purpose- not mine. Which is why I should separate myself from accomplishments and who I am. I can stand here today knowing that I would accomplish nothing on my own. Because of this, to God be the glory. 
So dear Lord, thank you for this day. In this day spiritually I have achieved more than I have in the past 2 months of “achieving.” By the grace of God, I had a morning of quiet sitting in my PJs and not really even getting out of bed. I did nothing compared to all that I have done. But I learned a big lesson. That if I let any of the superficial accomplishments get to my head, then slowly I will become focused on the things I can do. I become focused on my own strength, my own plans, my own life. Slowly I become overcome with achieving, busyness, and my self-seeking goals become empty. The busyness distracts me from the maker of my will and desires, the one who planted my goals and desire so that I could serve HIS purpose not my own.

I leave you with a dream I had recently. A dream that was so vivid and clear that I know it could only be from God.  I dreamed that I was inspired by a friend’s blog. And all I really remember from this dream-blog was 2 pictures. One of Lindsay’s plan and one of God’s plan.

The first image of our human plan/Lindsay’s plan was a path shaped like a tree. You know, starting off on the trunk of God’s plan – the straight path. Like being motivated by God, being inspired by God, like in the story of my goals. I believe God planted desires in my heart to serve his purpose. Then as time passes, many paths slowly veering off the trunk, like the branches of the tree. You know there are so many paths that you could follow as the tree grows, winding and curving. Life gets a little confusing. And our plans get a little twisted and grow in all sorts of directions. Suddenly we start growing away from God- growing away from the trunk. Our best efforts and plans are always a little disorganized- like we can see one branch growing one way and the other growing the other way and suddenly we get kind of confused and overwhelmed by the different directions life seems to be headed. It’s like we get focused on the things we can do, and become overcome that slowly we grow away from God.

The second image was a picture of God’s plan- a very simple image. The image had one main path (similar to the trunk of the tree) but 2 paths branching from it. One path veered towards the left and the other to the right.

As I couldn’t get the thought of this dream out of my head, I went ahead and drew a little picture of how I saw the dream. The first image was a tree, and the second was something spectacular. The second image I saw in the dream was a cross. It was 1 path, 2 paths veering out of it- one towards the left and right. I was instantly moved. 

I was moved because in my sleep, God told me that getting consumed with my ideas, ambitions and goals would always be confusing because each branch veers AWAY from the trunk. However, God’s plan leads to the cross. God provides just enough clarity so that we can see the cross. That’s all we need to see. We don’t need to see all the ways our lives will curve and grow (like a tree’s branches) because growing with God is growing to be humbled at the foot of the cross. To be overwhelmed by the things HE has done- not the things I could ever do. Growing with God means to take on the cloak of humility so that I alone can be NOTHING of worth without HIS presence in me. So that everything I ever achieve points to HIM, not me. You see, I am an imperfect and sinful human. I will ALWAYS have fault. But if God uses my achievement for HIS good and his will, his power in me will make me something. And at then end of the day I can hang my hat on heavenly accomplishments, and not earthly ones.  As an old hymn states, To God be the Glory, great things HE HAS DONE!

Monday, April 23, 2012



"Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful. 28 You have heard Me tell you, 'I am going away and I am coming to you.' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens so that when it does happen you may believe. 30 I will not talk with you much longer, because the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over Me.” John 14:27-31

I feel like peace is a trait that many of us want and few know how to get. I am always telling myself that peace and harmony is something I strive for. I try to be calm, cool, and collected- until the very instant that something frazzles me and the whole peace talk goes out the door. I let the emotions get to me, the feeling of anger, the feeling of hurt, the feeling of sadness overtakes the idea of peace. These emotions sit in my heart and fester, and suddenly I begin to feel wronged, betrayed, or let down by somebody. I prepare myself for battle, because I think nobody should treat anybody that way, especially not me. They aren’t going to run ME over. Some weeks this scenario happens way too often. I start to realize that peace has not been found and I have made a mess with my words and angry actions that often takes days to clean up.

I have really been struggling with this whole peace thing. I want it, but don’t know how to embody it. I really don’t want to be run over. I want to prove my point, to show that I am not the kind of person that sits around- I am a “do-er”, I will fight fires, and restore the peace in my relationships, in my life, in my heart. 

In John 14:27, we are given a gift from Jesus- the gift of Peace. Jesus is preparing his disciples for his death but he gives them a special “going away present”, one that the world will never offer, Peace. I think Jesus lived in the world long enough to know that we on our own could never find peace. We just aren’t peaceful people. It’s not that everybody is some sort of violent, chaos causing being- but I feel like the natural tendency of our human hearts isn’t to find peace in every situation. It took Jesus Christ to come in and show us what peace looks like on daily basis. When he was misunderstood, mocked, and beat down he said, “turn the other cheek”, “love your neighbor as yourself”, “father-forgive them.”

I think the biggest hindrance to me achieving peace- is that I want to promote my own agenda. I want to serve my purposes. And all of the things associated with my purpose, my goals, my life usually has ME at the center of them (go figure!) You see in the passage above Jesus gives peace- but he doesn’t give it to the disciple’s so they can promote their own agendas. He gives it and explains the big sacrifice he is going to make. He gives the gift of peace so that the disciples could handle Jesus dying a brutal death. That, if you ask me, is not about us at all. It’s about the God of the universe wanting his glory to be shown so that he may reign above all.

Jesus tells the disciples “Let your heart not be troubled or fearful.” I think this is where he tells us to not let the emotions get to us. Yes, we will all be wronged, run over, and beat down. Hopefully it is for the right reasons, like taking a stand for God and our values. The passage doesn’t say “your heart will never be troubled or fearful”. Jesus tell us to not let our hearts be controlled by emotions because He has provided us the peace that he will be with us always.

Some times we must keep quiet so that God can work in other people’s lives. When we are loud, kicking and screaming, it is really hard for people on every side of the situation to see God work. The person throwing the tantrum distracts everyone. We have to have absolute faith that “God works for the good for those who love him.” (Romans 8:28)  It doesn’t say Lindsay works for the good for her friends and family. Alone, I am an un-peaceful person. It’s just the way I was made. God is the greatest love story for every person. So let somebody be nasty, hateful, rude, mean, mocking. It could be apart of their story. Our story, is that we were all at that same point too when we were unsaved. Now that we are saved, we should reflect the image of God.

Let our hearts not be troubled, so that God can provide peace. Let God provide peace so that we are all equipped to deal with the things that are too big for us to handle. Even though, not everything will go our way, not everybody will treat us right, and not every situation will make us look better this is all a part of God’s greater story. You know, the Easter story, the love story, the redemption story. When our perfect savior, died a brutal death and rose again so that we may live again. We don’t have to deal with the minutia, the small things. We just should accept the gift of peace that comes from Christ Jesus alone. So maybe that means biting my tongue, walking away, loving the mean and unlovable. Because Jesus Christ loved me when I wasn’t even worth loving. He died for me, when he knew all of the mistakes I would make. On top of it all, he provides peace along the way for each one of us. Peace be with you today! 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Now what?

I hope everyone had a great and relaxing Easter weekend. Easter for me this year was such a break and I enjoyed spending time with family.

Do any of you ever have such a great weekend that you wonder, now what? You experience joy to the fullest, fun to the max, and activities galore. You wonder how life seriously could get any better. For the next couple of days, the greatness of the weekend buzzes in your mind. Work, school, chores don’t seem to be so bad because you are filled to the brim with the memories of the weekend.  Even days far removed from the weekend, I even have a little smile on my face, because I can look back and recall the memories that brought me so much joy. Its like weekends like that are fuel for life. We all need them every once in a while. We all need to be in our element for a couple of days, filling ourselves back up so that we can have motivation for the mundane tasks in life.

This morning I woke up, with Easter still on my mind. Now what? Now that Easter is over what do I do? What the ‘hoopla’ of Easter really mean? More importantly, how do we really let the Easter story live on in your life all of the other 364 days of the year?

This past weekend I have been a bystander in a beautiful story, watching as Christ took my place on a cross and rose again. I wasn’t personally there to experience any of the greatness of the day, however I reap the greatness of the benefits. As we follow Christ’s journey to the cross, it is a story about who we inherently are, and what HE can only do. For many people it can stop there. We were born into sin, we will always have sinful ways, and this is a problem that only the cross can fix.

Maybe if you are like me, you think in death of Christ, there is nothing we can do. We simply, year after year, should watch Christ go to the cross and rise again. We have no control over our sinful ways, it happened last year and it will happen this year. It almost seems like every year, if I had a place in the Easter story I would be a crowd member shouting towards his death. I would be piercing his nails into the cross. 

The Easter story has such bigness about it. It is so much bigger than I am. It is an idea that my mind cannot even comprehend. Clearly, it doesn’t make sense. A sinless man died such a BIG death, being charged like the most rotten criminal of his time.  This man rose again, conquering such death so that we may have BIG lives. And sometimes in the bigness of the story, I wonder where such a small sinner fits in to the greatness of it all.

This morning I was reading in Romans 6 and God spoke to me like only He could.

 1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.  

It’s like Paul had a similar thought process. It verse 1, he asks the same question. Now what? “What shall we say, then?” What shall we do? It’s like maybe he had the same revelation as me on Easter.  I was hit hard with the fact that I am a sinner. I was hit hard with the fact that Jesus died to take MY place, because of all of MY sin. After realizing I am guilty for Christ’s death because of my sinful ways, what do I do now? Will I always be just the bystander screaming towards Jesus’ death? “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?” Paul says by no means! “We have died to sin; how can we live it any longer?” If we have accepted Christ Jesus as our savior and believe the story to be true in our whole hearts, we have truly died to sin. We will not be enslaved to sin any longer.

Then Paul begins explaining in Verses 4 and 5 how we really fit into the Easter story on a daily basis.
“We were buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.”

This is so powerful for me. It’s like in the story of Easter my place is no longer just a bystander cheering towards Christ death. I am not simply watching it all happen like reading a story. I am free from my sin and no longer enslaved to my sinful nature. Paul defines my place in the story. He says that I too was buried with Christ through baptism so that I may live a new life. When I became a Christian, the old me died.  And if I was truly united with him in his death, I will also be united with him in his resurrection. Verse 11 saysIn the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive in Christ Jesus.”

So this is all pretty deep stuff. But it is so powerful and life changing. Because for the story of Easter to live on in me on a daily basis, for it to rock my world the rest of the 364 days, I must have died to my sin just like Christ died on the cross. And just as Christ was raised from the dead, I must live a new life. I can no longer look at the story of Easter from afar. I must LIVE the story of Easter. Every day.

It’s really easy to hold onto my sinful ways. It’s really easy to go to Easter service and be so appreciative for what Christ has done and celebrate Easter like it is means so much to me. But does it mean enough, that I too would reflect the story of Easter in your life? I am convicted here.  Because I love the magic of Easter, I love what it stands for, I love the bigness of it all. But I have to rise up to the challenge. I have to take the next step. I have to move from being a small sinner, to being redeemed through nothing else but the power of Christ. 

Hopefully for you Easter was such a great weekend. Hopefully the story rocked your core and moved you. I hope that you are asking the question, now what? The power of the Easter story should fill every Christian to the brim, overflowing with the greatness of the story. It should make the mundane tasks bearable. I think, that this week I will focus on how the story of Easter lives on in me. Have I died to all my sins? Am I reflecting a new life, just as Jesus Christ rose again? I am encouraged by Romans 6:14.

“For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”

May the grace of God move in me. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

To be, or not to be.

So it really has been such a long time since I have written a blog post. So so long! I have been busy being overwhelmed with life. Unfortunately I haven’t taken the time to really sit down and blog. Some days it feels like I can barely keep my head above the water. Do you ever feel like that? Do you ever feel like its so hard to sit down and do the things you really enjoy, to enjoy the quietness, beauty, and people in life?

But here I am, better late than never.  As I approach a huge time of change in my life, I have really started to wonder who I will be in this BIG big world. Where I fit in as an adult. What I stand for. What I actually believe. Who I want to be. All of these questions seem to be just as BIG as the world I live in. And I don’t have any of the answers.

I’m going to be honest, in a time like this it’s hard to rely on God. Because I want to make the answers happen for myself. I want to make my plans appear and come to fruition. And it’s like God slowly, very slowly, gives me a little hint of what the future will look like daily.  I want to plan my career, to plan my family, to plan my schedule to the T the next 10 years. (I seriously could if I wasn’t going to be viewed as crazy!)
And in the midst of my schedule, my lists, and my wants therein lies something mysterious, the unknown. I don’t know how to handle the unknown, because that causes a big block in my schedule, it causes greyness in my life and I like black and white. 

The unknown festers in my heart, stirring anxiety, frustration, and disappointment. Because the more unknown, the more I cling to what I feel comfortable with. The things I can plan out, the things I can physically hold onto. The plans, the ideas, the memories. The more I hold onto that structure, the more I let go of my freedom. I become enslaved to the idea that the unknown could be scary, big, and overwhelming.  

So as I wonder who I am today and who I will be tomorrow I am reminded to just simply be. At this point you are probably think I’m jumping into the crazy pool and I’m a tad OCD- which all could be true. You think, to simply be what? Be you.

God has hand placed our situations, in our life circumstances, our stresses, concerns and he is in control of all of them.  And all he wants us to do is love with our whole hearts. Be who we are.  The bible is full of commands, of things we should do, of the person we should strive to be.

So instead of trying to define myself with some elaborate terms, some deep thought processes maybe I will just sit back and simply exist. Because if we step back and devote our full hearts to him, He will take care of the details. He will do everything If I allow him to. He will be my all, if I allow him to take that place. And I can take one deep sigh of relief because God makes it easy for me. He doesn’t give me all the answers today, but he will always be faithful to me. He will never let me down.  All I need to do is just enjoy life, take a deep breath, and love others. That’s an easy job. Let me just be. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


For at least a week I have been wrestling with the story of the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 and exactly what it means to me. Like really struggling. I think I rewrote my blog 3 times. It was quite the frustrating experience. But it was good for me to really seek the truth out of this story. I have heard the story before. Jesus meets the woman at the well, asks her for a drink, and then teaches her that ‘living water’ will be the only thing to ever satisfy her thirst. It seems so simple. But for some reason, I couldn’t get a grasp on what it really meant in my life.

At first it was easy for me to brush this story off, because it appears that it doesn’t apply to me. It seems kind of irrelevant. First of all, I am not a Samaritan. Second of all, I already know that Jesus Christ is the source of the living water. Third of all, I wouldn’t need convincing like the Samaritan woman, that Jesus is the Messiah. I believe all of those things. We, unlike the Samaritan woman, get the advantage of having a hardbound book of truth, the Bible. She had to have a face-to-face encounter with Jesus to understand the truth of the living water. I think what happens in her encounter with Jesus is something we can probably relate to.

The passage starts off with Jesus meeting the Samarian Woman at the well and asking her for a drink.

 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

I imagine the woman getting to the well alone, with the burdens of the day on her. Apparently women in that day would all go to the well together to get their water for the day. They used getting water at the well as a social hour. The Samaritan woman appears to be alone. Maybe the other women didn’t invite her. Maybe they do not accept her. And because of this, she’s probably just thinking- let’s get in and get out so I can go do the rest of my chores for the today. On top of it all, there is a stranger at the well, a Jew in fact. Jews and Samaritans never acknowledged each other. They aren’t exactly on a friendly basis. So she wonders why the Jew, who is also a stranger, approaches her and asks her for a drink. She doesn’t know who the stranger is or what he can do. She especially doesn’t know why he’s asking her for a drink.

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
This stranger, waltzes into the Samaritan’s woman’s well, into her normal routine. Not only does he cross the social boundaries between Samaritans and Jews, now he is saying that if the woman really knew who he was, she would ask HIM for living water. If I were the Samaritan woman, I would be wondering what living water even is. More importantly, I would wonder who this stranger is that claims to have access to living water.

 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

She now she reacts like any rational, normal person would. She wonders how he is going to provide the living water. The well is deep and he has nothing to get the water out with, so how can He provide living water? And is the strange Jew greater than the owner of the well, Jacob, who gave them the well? How can he provide water from a well that is not his own? 

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

Jesus tells her that this living water quenches all thirst eternally. At this point the Samaritan woman has warmed up to the idea of the living water. She realizes that Jesus has something that she wants, but she doesn’t quit understand the magnitude of what he has. She thinks that he has a quick fix to the daily hassle of going to the well to get water. He could offer some sort of magic well that will never make her thirsty. She is probably envisioning herself never having to make a trip to the well again because she will have a “spring of eternal life”. She doesn’t know where the spring will go, how she will explain this spring to her friends, but all she knows that the magical spring will make her life so much easier.

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

At this point, Jesus breaks into her ordinary life with something very personal. Jesus hits on a sensitive subject with her, to show that he is no stranger, he actually knows her. The fact that Jesus knew her baggage hits home with her. The woman previously had 5 husbands in the past, and now she was currently living with someone who was not her husband. Jesus knew where she came from, what burdened her, what made her weak, what was her biggest struggle in life.

 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
   21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

The personal connection made by mentioning her past of 5 husbands has hit home with the woman. She realizes that he is a prophet.  But Jesus tells her that this is more than just a religious experience from a prophet. The woman had been worshipping “what she did not know,” and a time is coming for her to step up from mere religion into faith of what she does know. The Samaritan woman must worship God in spirit and in truth because that is what God calls of us.

 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

 At this point the woman realizes that she had not been worshipping in spirit and truth (as seen in the sinful life she had been living) and that she was in need of the Messiah.  And she thinks that God will send a Messiah to reveal all truths to her. Jesus lays his claim to fame here, that he is the true Messiah. The identity of the stranger became the image of a Messiah, a savior. He came to meet her at the well to seek a personal relationship with her. He had explained all that he needed. She must worship God in sprit and truth, not looking for religious experiences. He came so that she might have a living, personal relationship with her.

The Samaritan woman completely underestimated the power of the stranger. To many of us, we know that Jesus exists. But he only exists in religious experiences to us. We would never expect Jesus to meet us in our daily circumstances. Yet he does. He meets at our “well.” He meets us in our normal routine. Not only does he meet us, but he knows us. He knows our burdens, our weaknesses, and our struggles. He meets us just as we are. And finally, not only does he meet us knowing exactly where we are in life; he has a solution for our burdens. He offers us living water. He offers us exactly what we need to never be thirsty again. Real satisfaction. Real fulfillment. Real cleansing. He offers us a real relationship with him. But we doubt, just like the Samaritan woman. We wonder how he is going to do it. We many times don’t even give Jesus a chance to provide living water for us. To us the well looks deep and we can’t see God’s “bucket” or plan. So we seek our own ideas of hydration. We seek relationships, self-fulfillment, our own plans. We are afraid to let living water flow through our lives because we lose control of when and how the water flows. The living water cleans our stains of brokenness, hurt, and mistakes so that we can become closer to our perfect creator. Living water allows me to set aside my ideas, and be completely consumed with God’s power and presence in my life. I don’t need a plan of how my life goals will be attained or how my thirst will be satisfied. All I need is living water.

So today I am reminded to look up. To not look deeper into what I am doing (the well), but to lift up my head from whatever my most pressing task is and take a moment to remember the promise that living water flows from above, from Christ alone. It doesn’t come from looking deeper into the well. We, in our limited knowledge think fulfillment has to come from this earth, from the well. I look deep into the well and see my baggage, worries, concerns, struggles, and questions. The living water He provides cleanses me and will never make me thirsty again. It will provide for me. Part of having a relationship with God is based on the absolute assurance that the water he provides will be ALL that I need. I won’t need relationships, I won’t need job security, I won’t need lots of money, lot’s of excitement and fun. All I need to do is to look up so that he can provide all that I need. To rest on the truth that dehydration will only be quenched by living water. Are you thirsty? Don’t look down into the well. Look up.