Two Women. Two Wells. One God.

Hagar and the Samaritan woman. Two women who both encountered God by a well and were never the same again.

 

 

These two women are separated by centuries yet their stories are strangely similar. They are both on the run. Hagar is running from the abuse and misuse she is receiving from her mistress, Sarah.

 

 

The Samaritan woman doesn’t think she’s on the run – but she is. She’s made her way through five husbands and is now shacking up with Mr Number 6. You wanna tell me she’s not running from something? Shame. Pain. Disappointment. These are just a few of the demons chasing her. Not to mention the continual dissatisfaction that continues to drive her into the empty arms of these men. Empty wells – that’s really what these men are.  Can’t you hear her desperation as she says, “Sir, give me this water that I may not thirst nor come here to draw?” This is one thirsty woman. Every time she lowers the bucket of her heart into these men it sadly comes up carrying nothing but emptiness.

 

 

And emptiness is a heavy burden to carry.

 

 

Hagar had a revelation of God at her well. She realised that despite the fact she was running away He still took the time and was interested in her story. The spring in the middle of her desert was enough to satisfy her soul. She named God, ‘You are the God Who Sees.’ She said of her encounter, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”  How amazing and comforting is that? That we get to see the One Who sees us.  He sees us in all our sin yet He allows us to see Him in all His grace.

 

 

Jesus saw straight into the life of the Samaritan woman. He saw her emptiness and gave her fulness. How do we know? It says she left her waterpot and went into the village and proclaimed, “Come see a man…”   And the neighbours must have thought at first, ‘Oh no. Here we go again. Another man on the scene.’ But she finished her sentence by saying, “…who told me all I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” This shocked them because everyone knew everything she ever did! Her life was no secret. Yet this man at the well saw it all and still loved and accepted her. This woman had an encounter with the God of Hagar – The God Who Sees. The God Who saw her yet still loved her. The God Who saw her yet still had purpose for her life.

The Valley of Weeping

No matter how deep the valley there can be a well. 

Just as it says in Psalm 84:6: “Passing through the valley of Weeping they make it a place of springs.” Another word for a spring is a well. Your tears of pain can, in  time, become a well of refreshing. How? I don’t know because when you’re crying them you don’t see any sense to those tears – all you feel is the pain.

When I went on this journey of discovering wells at the beginning of this year I didn’t realise I would be drawing from wells filled with my own tears.  But I’ve cried enough tears in my life to ask you to trust me that God does turn them into a well. What was once a place of pain, strife and contention can become a place God prepares for for you to grow and prosper.
We need to look for the well in all of our valleys because they’re there waiting for us to drink from them. When we are in the valley we need to realise that we are not just trying to get through the day – we are digging wells. Wells that will refresh not only us but dry and thirsty people all around us.
We all want people to be refreshed from the wells of our lives but are we willing for some of that water to consist of our own weeping?

God Has Made Room

Gen 26:18-22. And Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. He called them by the names which his father had called them. Also Isaac’s servants dug in the valley, and found a well of running water there But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well Esek,because they quarreled with him. Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one also. So he called its name Sitnah. And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, because he said, “For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”

Strife. Contention. Enmity. When you’re digging wells for God that’s all that seems to come up. But God has promised you a Reheboth. He has promised room for you in the land where you will be fruitful. He has promised room for you to grow and be who he created you to be without any friction or restriction. He wants you to spread out and not hold back. Sometimes the hardest part for us is realising that the season is changing for us.  We can be so used with strife that we find it hard to expect anything else. But we must not settle for Sitnah of Esek. God has more for us. He has Reheboth.

Notice that He makes room for us. There are seasons in our lives when no matter how hard we try we will never get where we need to go. It will only take the goodness and mercy of God to get us into that place, and no amount of sweet-talking and effort on our part can compensate for His divine favour in those situations. That’s when we know we can do nothing without Him. This takes the pressure off us and allows us to rest knowing that He has everything under control.

But before we can live in our Reheboth we must deal with the wells of our past.  Deal with the strife. Don’t leave it blocked. Otherwise the water will never flow to the place He has prepared for you. Strife blocks the flow of purpose in your life and you must clear the channels. Strife with other. Strife with God. Strife with yourself.

There is always a battle over the wells in our lives but we need to keep digging. sooner or later the battles will cease and we will live in Reheboth – our very own space, right where we belong