This is Week 3 of The Desert Shall Rejoice, a six-week Lenten blog series. Each week of Lent, I am sharing a reflection, providing a Scripture passage to read and meditate on, and offering journal questions for deeper prayer with Jesus. You can read Week 1 HERE and Week 2 HERE.
“… whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)
The story of the Woman at the Well is a familiar one. And it brings us into our very humanity. All of us thirst. We need water to stay strong, focused … alive.
The story begins by expressing this very human need. The woman is thirsty, or she would not be at the well, right? Jesus also experiences thirst, which is why He asks her for a drink.
But in our humanity, we also experience a much deeper thirst for refreshment and renewal of our souls, especially when we are experiencing a spiritual desert or wilderness.
And this is why the Woman at the Well is so relatable. Maybe we have not had five husbands, but we have experienced pain, difficulty, trauma, and sorrow. At some point, maybe even now, we have been in a place that is dry, barren, and lonely.
Jesus’ Gaze of Love
As Jesus continues to converse with the woman, she wonders: Why does this man want to talk to me? I am a woman, a Samaritan. I am imperfect and scarred. Why is he being so kind to me? What is so different about him that he would look upon me with tenderness and love?
But Jesus’ gaze of love softens her heart, and she begins to feel like she is the only one who matters to Him.
And even though she reveals her past to Him, He doesn’t turn away. Rather, with mercy and love, He draws her closer to Himself.
And so it is with me (and perhaps you too).
Drink Deeply of His Life-Giving Water
Sometimes I feel like I can’t possibly be loved by Jesus. My sin is too big. Fear gets in the way. My past mistakes haunt me. I am bound by a spirit of regret, anger, despair, and doubt.
But Jesus loves me, not only in spite of this … but because of this. And He loves you, too.
Especially in the desert moments of our lives.
And like the Samaritan woman, Jesus wants us to sit at His feet and converse with Him at the well. He wants us to believe we are important to Him, because we are. And He wants to fill us with life-giving water to banish once-and-for-all our sin, our fear, and our doubt, in order to redeem us with His overflowing mercy and love.
My friends, no matter what desert you may be experiencing, this Lent is the perfect set-aside time to meet Jesus at the well. To drink deeply of His mercy, healing, forgiveness, love, grace, and peace. Bring Him your weary, imperfect, and scarred heart. He longs to hold your heart tenderly in His gaze and make you whole again.
Take a few moments to quiet your heart. Breathe in and out.
Read today’s Scripture verses: John 4:5-42
After reading the verse once, read it one or two more times.
What stands out to you? A word, feeling, thought …
Imagine yourself as the woman at the well. Imagine Jesus gazing at you with eyes of love.
What are you thirsting for? What is causing you to feel dry, parched, and empty? How do need Jesus to fill you up again? How do you need Him to replenish you with life-giving water?
As you continue to journey through the Lenten desert, how does prayer and conversation with God meet those needs?
At the end of your journaling time, spend a few minutes in silence or rest. Simply be still and be present to God.
Oh, Lord, thank You for meeting me at the well. I have come, because I am so thirsty, so tired, so parched, so empty. And I am just so grateful for Your willingness to meet me in my need. Thank You for gazing upon me with such love and tenderness, such affection and patience. Your gaze and presence comfort me, and I feel refreshment in my weary soul. Amen.