Only five days are left in the countdown to Christmas, and I am not ready.
Christmas tree? Not yet. Lights? Nope. Gifts? Many, but not all. This is not how I want to finish out Advent! I want to be like the manger in the crèche on my neighbor’s lawn: empty and ready for the coming of Jesus.
Here is the danger of the last-minute rush: that I will get caught up in the lights and tinsel and gifts; that I will focus so completely on having things ready for the children, or decorating and making a perfect dinner for the family coming in, that I won’t think of Jesus at all. I’m afraid I’ll work so hard to find the Christmas Spirit in the holiday trappings, that I’ll miss it – and Him – altogether.
I was thinking about this when I read about the Woman at the Well in John 4. Talk about someone who’s trying to get what she wants in all the wrong places! Five times, she’s been to the altar hoping for love and fulfillment. Five times she has lost her husband. Whatever the reason, there’s pain in her life. She doesn’t even bother to marry the sixth.
This woman’s daily trips to the well mirror her life. But her thirst will never be filled at the well, and her longing will never be met by a man. She’s trying to quench that thirst in all the wrong places.
Can you relate? I can. The Woman at the Well is everyone who tries to fill their heart with a spouse … with children … a new job … a beautiful house … a merry Christmas.
Nothing is ever enough.
But here’s what I love about this story: JESUS GOES TO HER. He goes out of his way into foreign territory, takes a long dusty journey, just to meet her at the place of her longing. And that is where he comes to meet us.
“Seek and you shall find,” the Lord promises in Matthew 7:7. Sometimes our searching takes us far away or occupies us to the point that we can’t see him. Open your eyes to see the Man at the well! He started to seek you before you even thought about him. Jesus longs to meet you and fill you – and he’ll be at the place of your longing. Wait for him there! He is coming.
Ask him for something to drink.
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Read the whole story of the Woman at the Well here: John 4:1-42.
Listen to Jeff Cavins interview me about women in the Bible and the Woman at the Well on Relevant Radio’s Rediscover Hour (I come on in the second half of the program, but you may also enjoy the interview with Mary Healy that comes first): Rediscover Hour 12/19/14