As I ponder this story of Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman at the well, there are so many things that made it an unusual occurrence. Firstly, for a Jewish man to talk to a woman, much less a Samaritan woman was rare. Her reputation couldn’t have been pristine if she had five previous husbands and was not married to the man she was currently living with at the time. When His disciples returned and found Him, they, too, were surprised. The one thing that Jesus was positive about, was her receptivity; therefore, her recognition of the Christ as He told her about herself. In her humility , she expressed gratitude for this conversation.
1 Samuel 16:7 states “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the lord looks at the heart.'” Jesus was certainly looking at the Samaritan woman’s heart that day and it remains that way. Today, I will actively work about keeping my heart free from worry, anxiety, jealousy, envy, bitterness and pray that it be filled with grace, love and kindness. That is what God will see.
This morning as I began my day at my desk with my Bible and Bible Lesson I began to wonder about the day ahead. There are times when I almost want to visualize the day completely. Often we take day trips and of course, we need to take human footsteps on having the car gassed, tires filled with air, etc. but we need not worry about every turn. Preparation can come from simply turning to God and trusting him all the way.
John 15:4-7 states “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” This need not take our spontaneity away, but rather enrich it.
The above is the subject of conversation today and one hears it discussed everywhere. As I pray about this, I ask where do I seem to put up a wall in my thinking? The word “exclusion” comes to thought as I think about neighborhoods, Churches, government, etc. It appears people have an “us and them” attitude about much. God loves all men, even though He may not approve of their actions. In studying the Bible when Nehemiah builds the wall around Jerusalem, it is accomplished against all odds and then In Hebrews 11:30, it states “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.” These say to me that there is nothing to stop a God-ordained idea whether it is building or tearing down, but human will and pride have to be removed first and just listening for Divine Guidance is imperative. Today I will question the walls I entertain in my thinking.
Recently, my husband and I were watching a science fiction series where this young woman who was a time traveler went back in time where her father had been run over by a car and killed when she was an infant. Rather than just watch the event, she ran out to the street and pushed him away which saved him. The remainder of the episode was the chaotic result of that split second decision to alter what had happened. From there it was a ripple effect of horrendous things!
Thoughts came pouring in from the past and very soon, I realized that nothing should be changed, even if we could so why would we even entertain the past? Genesis 19:26 states “But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” This is talking about Lot’s wife looking back, even after God told them not to look. “Pillar of salt” was slang in biblical times for “frozen with fear”. This just led to some interesting thoughts about the past. Today, I will keep my thought right here, right now!
Recently, my husband and I were driving the back roads in the Hill Country where we live. This is one of our favorite things to do since he is a photographer and I am an artist. As we came upon this bridge and got out of the car, on one side we looked down at the rapidly flowing waterfalls, which were just amazing! But, by turning to the other side of the bridge and looking down, the water was flowing calmly and very serene. We stood there in amazement looking from one side to the other. Soon I was thinking about life realizing no matter the scene, just by raising and turning our thought, we can see peace and harmony.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 reads “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Sometimes all we need to do is face the other direction.
This morning, as I study, the thought came about a recent conversation I overheard regarding a quarterback whose team is going to the championship game. He was being praised while I immediately was reminded that he wouldn’t be that great if he didn’t have good receivers. Then, was thinking about how needed the blockers were! As I was thinking along this line, I thought when someone is healthy but has a broken-down car, a good car mechanic would be much greater than a doctor.
Soon my heart filled with love and gratitude for everyone, no matter what his station in life must be. I was led to think about prayer and often we may want to ask God to bless our plans rather than ask Him what His plan is for us. Today I will be praying with Jeremiah 29:11 which states “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
Today I am praying with the 31st verse of the first chapter of Genesis which states “And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very Good.” To me that means if something is not Good, God did not make it and it is temporal and unreal. This happens when I am viewing something through judgmental and unloving eyes, not through God/Love’s eyes. In 1 Samuel 16:7, it says “the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for the man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”
Before actually judging another, do I really know what that person is going through or has gone through? And it never really is about me, but so often, human will and pride wants to say that it is. Today, I pray to not wear my feelings on my sleeve, and to just love more.