I want to tell you three short stories about women. Like Snow White, they were all by wells. They were all approached by a man. And all were asked to do something.
…Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well.
Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock.
Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.
When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”
They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”
“And where is he?” he asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.” (From Exodus 2)
When you read this story it is easy to miss small details. These women are about their fathers’s business but are pushed aside. Other shepherds come and drive them away from their work because they are women. But the Bible says that Moses got up and came to their rescue and he watered their flock.
Not only did he save them, he served them.
When Papa hears about this story what does he say? Why did you leave him? He sends them back. Go back to where you have been rejected and pushed aside. Go back and see this man who saves you and serves you.
Abraham had instructed his chief servant, Elihezar, to go to his home country and find a wife for his son Isaac.
The girl was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever lain with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again…
“When I came to the spring today, I said, ‘O Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant suc-cess to the journey on which I have come. See, I am standing beside this spring; if a maiden comes out to draw water and I say to her, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar,” and if she says to me, “Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels too,” let her be the one the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’
“Before I finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came out, with her jar on her shoulder…
Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.”
When they got up the next morning, he said, “Send me on my way to my master…”
But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the girl remain with us ten days or so; then you* may go.”
Then they said, “Let’s call the girl and ask her about it.” So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”
“I will go,” she said. (From Genesis 24)
In this story, Rebekah is just living her life. She is prepared to do the work asked of her and she is contented. So when the invitation comes from the stranger it is no small thing. It will cost her all she knows. She is being offered wealth, marriage, new land, new people, but only if she is willing. She has to decide which is greater: my plan or God’s plan.
Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
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.)
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.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
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.” (From John 4)
I so relate to this woman at the well. She is rejected, alone, ashamed, guilty. And here comes a Jew of all people asking her for a drink. But she still has plenty of mouth left, and asks Him why He associates with her? Ever wonder why God associates with us?
But then comes the offer. If you knew, Jesus said. “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you.” She wasn’t worthy. But Jesus still offered her living water.
All of these women had their lives radically interrupted. They had encounters with someone who was a for-eigner, a stranger, totally unheard of. And all of these women were asked to “give” something. Go back and get him. Give him something to eat. Give me water. Give me a drink.
Their future hinged on their actions. There may have been a promise of the future, but it did not begin without a very great risk right now. Each of them stood at a crossroad. Were they willing to go the distance?
Do you see there is no box here? These encounters radically changed each woman’s world, every future action and ultimately their future.
You can’t get to glory without a little risk. God wants to take us deeper, but it will cost us something. It will require us to go back to hard places, outside our comfort zones, and away from our sin. But “if you knew” who was asking, the process is so much easier.
Excerpt from Unhindered, Chapter 43
Let’s Get Real Here:
Ask yourself a few important questions.
Which woman at the well am I right now?
Do I need a defender? A lover? A redeemer?
What action is being asked of me?
What is the risk of this decision?
What is the cost if I say yes?
Am I willing to have my life radically changed?