She lived a hard life as an outcast. Life was difficult anyway. It is more difficult when one is alone. I do not mean lonely--I mean alone. She would come to the well at a time when no one else was there. She had enough of all the trash talk. Yes she was a loser--five different men had taken all they could from her. She was now in the hands of the sixth. She was a traded commodity, not a person.
Then this Jewish man appeared at the well. He was alone. Instead of avoiding her like all others, he approached her and asked her for water. Such a strange request. Such a tender voice. His voice and demeanor seemed to foreign to the harsh words and world she was used to hearing. She could not resist conversation with him.
He offered her water! But it was talk about a different kind of water. Of course her first thought was to make life easier. YES, MAKE LIFE EASIER. But then he told her things that she knew about herself but he was not supposed to know. There was a part of her that believed this man was what he said he was--the Messiah. Without thinking about her water jar, she went back to her city and spread the news about what happened. For the first time in a long way, she felt as though she was loved and appreciated. This man had given her this gift!
For some strange reason which she could not understand--life WAS easier.
I live an easy life. But even my life is easier when I have Jesus speaking words of life to me.
Today in Cambodia a child under the age of five will spend all day searching through trash in the dump site. If the child is lucky, the child will find enough recycling materials that will be worth fifty cents. Also on a lucky day the child will find a piece of clothing or broken toy they will hold on to with great pride.
There will be a group of children, brothers and sisters, who will make their way with their family across the Syrian border out of the war zone. The only possessions they have is in their arms or a bag that they have been carrying for days. Food is minimal. When they cross the border into safety, there is little or no assurance of safety--food, lodging, etc. Yet there is little or no choice about whether to make the journey or not. To stay would mean death.
Today there will a some who will live another day in the house with snow--more snow that they ever wanted. Some will spend hours shoveling snow to get out to be able to get provisions or get to a job. There will be a parent who has spent too much time cooped up with children who have been cooped up too long.
Today there is an elderly person who is not longer able to be in their home. No one will come to visit them. The care they will receive in the hospital or nursing home will be substandard because no one checks on them. The caretakers are in it for the minimum work one must do to earn minimum wage.
Now I know that this is not true everywhere. There are good people living good lives. But do you realize how "easy" life really is when you compare it to the world? Jesus as he traveled look for people whose life was difficult and sought to give them words of hope--to give them water. Jesus offered the basics of life that all needed.
Today I encourage you to consider three things. First realize and appreciate the easy life you are probably living. Give thanks to God for your blessings. Your anxious moments are minimal when compared to most of the world's population. Second, as you go through today, look for people who are in need of water. Share the living water. Encourage others. Third, and not at all least in importance, pray for those who life is difficult. Pray. Pray. Pray!
Pray for me as I pray for you.
In the Master's Name,
Dr. M. Jack O'Dell