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Never Alone

JESUS IS THE ONLY ONE

 

Alone again. That’s what she must have thought as she walked to the well all by herself that day.

But she wasn’t alone for long. Jesus was there. Yet, she didn’t know who He was and she couldn’t help but wonder why He was talking to her, a Samaritan woman.

When He spoke, she heard gentleness in His voice. 

Kindness and humility in His simple request for a drink.

In His eyes she saw acceptance, not judgment. Love, not hate.

Many of us know her as the Samaritan woman, but I like to call her Sam to make her feel more like the real woman she was. A woman who struggled with hurt, rejection, and loneliness.

Jesus was on His way to Galilee that day, but Scripture tells us “He had to go through Samaria” {John 4:4}. Yet theologians would tell us Jews considered Samaritans to be the scum of the earth and would do everything to avoid them by traveling around Samaria — but not Jesus.

He had to go through Samaria. Perhaps it be because He knew Sam would be there.

Women normally traveled together to the well, in the cool of the day, to avoid the heat of the sun since they carried heavy jars filled with water back to their homes. But Sam went by herself.

Many believe that instead of avoiding the scorching heat of the sun, she went to the well at noon to avoid the scorching pain of others’ rejection and judgment. Sam had been married five times, and was living with a man who wasn’t her husband.

When Jesus met her, Sam was running an errand, and running from those who knew of her failures, shame, and imperfections. Pursuing her with His perfect love, Jesus timed it so she would run into Him.

He initiated conversation and asked her for the one thing she had to offer, water. It wasn’t much, but it was a start.

Sam stopped and listened. She let Him speak words of assurance and acceptance into the broken, insecure, empty places of her heart.

Jesus intentionally pursued Sam in one of the loneliest parts of her day and in the same way, He is there in the midst of our sometimes lonely, imperfect lives. He is there when our disappointments and failures leave us empty and make us doubt our worth and purpose. (keep reading here)

I don’t know about you, but this summer I have had many days when I felt alone and just need to know someone sees me. Knows me. Pursues me. Jesus is showing me, He does. Let’s keep talking about this over on the inCourage blog, where I’m hosting today’s conversation and praying for friends like you in our online community. Join me there. 

Lord, Help Me Not Forget

Heb6-1

“God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.”

{Hebrews 6:10, NIV}

“He will not forget your work….”

Six words my weary heart needed. After a week of crushing demands and behind-the-scenes sacrifices, I needed Jesus to tell me that all my efforts weren’t invisible.

No one else knew, and they didn’t need to. But I needed to know God saw and it mattered to Him.

As we celebrate the 4th of July this weekend, I’m reminded of military men and women who have sacrificed so much more than I ever could. I can’t help but wonder if there are days when they ask themselves if it’s worth it. If anyone cares, notices or appreciates the countless ways they love and serve our country, sacrificially.

I’m so grateful for the sacrifices of their lives and their time, away from family and a peaceful more simple life. Whether a military leader, behind-the-scenes servant or soldier on battlefields, in the past and in our present, seen and unseen, God sees all.

God promises He will not forget. 

Maybe it’s been a long hard week for you, and you’ve wondered if anyone sees the way you give up your time and give of yourself; acts of kindness as you pour out yourself for the sake of someone else.

Let’s soak in His promise to us today and offer it back as a gift of remembrance, for all the sacrifices that have been made for us by men and women we may never know. Servants who gave it all to give us freedom. An offering that echoes Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, that brings true, everlasting freedom for all who call on His name.

Lord, help us remember what our freedom cost. As we celebrate the 4th of July in America, help each of us to remember Your sacrifice and others’ who give their lives sacrificially. Help us never take for granted the liberty of our heritage as a follower of Christ and as a nation that was built on the foundation of Your Word and Your ways.