|"Ok, not THAT different..."|
Although we can be confusing at times.
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.
When I was in Utah, I made a best friend. She is a Mormon, but she is different. We had a lot of fun. We never worried about our differences. Monty rode horses and motorbikes. I'd only ridden in Southern California, in a ring, English style. She tried to get me to ride motorbikes with her. It only took an hour for us to realize, it wasn't a good idea. Takes some coordination to do that, which I lack. Horses? We get along great.
I taught Monty the joy of blowing soap bubbles on Main Street. There was only one traffic light and a stop sign in town. It took all of 5 minutes to drag Main in our cars. And that's only if you waved at the other kids.
For Halloween in High School, we dressed up like pregnant ladies and went trick-or-treating. We put curlers in our hair, wore bathrobes and stuffed pillows in our front. Everyone got a good laugh out of it. She became a waitress in another town 40 miles away. So I went with her during the summer, and became a waitress too.
We went to keggers, where kids got beer kegs and drank at night in the Utah desert. There was something unsettling about my Mom and Step-Father leading Alcoholics Anonymous while I was at these parties. God was changing my heart, from the inside. Not just my words.
I'd been missing quite a bit of Church. So I started praying, "God if you want me in Church, please wake me up in time to get there."
And He did. So I went.
Monty fell in love with the manager at the restaurant, and he fell for her. They got married out of High School. I fell for a really cute pig farmer, but it didn't work out. So glad when God says, "No" to my prayers. God sent me off to Grand Canyon College in Phoenix, AZ instead. Grand Canyon is a Southern Baptist school that's now a University. It took 5 years for my 4 year education, but I graduated from a Methodist school in Seattle. Monty and I had a hard time leaving each other behind. But, we are still best friends. I knew leaving was my only hope for a future. God has a way of making His will the only option.
It's good to make friends with people who are different. Jesus did. There was a Samaritan woman by a well that Jesus met on one of His journeys. Not only was she a Samaritan, which Jews despised. She was a woman! The disciples were taken back by this.
5 ... He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
It's cool how Jesus visited the spot where Jacob had given land to Joseph. God used Joseph in some mighty ways. Kind of shows how God doesn't forget; how His love never ends.
7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
It's interesting, Jesus could've gotten the water Himself. But, instead He wanted to have a conversation with this woman. She probably had a clay jar in her hand. What's in my hand? A mouse and keyboard. Maybe He can use it.
9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
Her response is very honest. Jesus likes that- He already knows anyway. Nothing to hide.
10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”
If He had answered, "Well, actually, I'm way greater than Jacob."
The woman would've shook her head and questioned His sanity. Sometimes the direct approach isn't the best.
13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”
I looked up the verses from the Old Testament on this:
Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”
10 For as the rain comes down and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void,
But it will accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”
Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”
Jesus already knew about the woman's life. I thought about why she would say she didn't have a husband. Perhaps she had been married so many times, she gave up on marriage. Jesus had opened her eyes to a greater truth. Marriage isn't the meaning of our lives, it can't completely satisfy us. Only Jesus can. This seems so real to us today. Don't know what I'd do with my husband if I didn't have the Lord's help : ) I'm sure he's grateful I don't completely lean on him too.
19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Now the time has come when we do worship in spirit and truth. From our cars, our homes, prison cells, and Church buildings. I am so grateful we don't have to travel to Jerusalem : )
25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”
26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
Can you imagine? The Son of God, spoke to a woman who had sinned and failed. I've sinned and failed too. She was probably an outcast to Jews and her own people. But not to Jesus. He'll never cast us out, once we are His.
New King James Version (NKJV)