May 2, 2016

Women Encountering Jesus

As I have been sharing how the Lord is working in my life, I wanted to return to a newsletter article I wrote last year that speaks to how encounters with the living God, no matter where He enters our story, can change our lives, moving us forward in a direction we would never have imagined. I hope you find it encouraging to where you are as the Lord uses it to challenge, strengthen, and move you to trust Him in YOUR story today.

The Woman at the Well

Time to head out for water. The other women should not be there. I won’t have to see their harsh stares and hear their hushed whispers. It will be warm in the middle of the day, but it will be free of their stares and hushed whispers..

She picks up her jar and heads to the well.

As she she approaches the well, she wonders who that man is sitting by the well? She tells herself to just get what you need and head back to the house.

Wait, what? He is talking to ME. He is JEWISH. I am SAMARITAN – and a WOMAN at that! He is asking for water. Who IS this?

Living water?– I want that. I do not have to return here to this well and have the chance of encountering the people from town and their judgmental glances.

Husband? I don’t have one. What? He already knew that and that I had 5 previous husbands, currently not married to the one I live with. This man has special powers of some kind. Time to change the subject…

Ok, so what about you Jews saying we should worship in Jerusalem when we Samaritans worship on this mountain?

Worship in Spirit and truth, not a place? Hmm. I tell him that when the Messiah comes- called Christ – He will explain all these things.

Whoa! He says HE is that Messiah –THE CHRIST! I am talking to THE Messiah we have all been waiting for! I told him to wait right there. I sat down my jar, running as fast as my legs would carry me into town to tell everyone that I have met one who knew everything about me – Can he really be THE CHRIST?! Many of those who have judged me daily stopped and listened to my testimony about what he said, but then wanted me to introduce them to him. They said they needed to hear it for themselves.

So I took them back to the well and they experienced what I did concerning this man.

All this from going out to get the water like every other day. I am so glad he is deciding to stay in town because this is AMAZING – so much to learn!

Whoops, better go back and get my jar and draw that water from the well for the house – the man I live with and I have some decisions to make…

What a day! I will never be the same!”

(John 4:1-42)

12 Years Unclean

“Unclean! Unclean! So tired of being alone and shunned and unclean! All the doctors I have been to with absolutely NO ANSWERS. Shame for being unclean, unable to marry or bear children.

When was this going to end?

I have cried so many tears, had my hopes raised and dashed so many times. I feel like I am being punished for something.

Today I heard this Jesus is coming near our town. He has healed so many of illnesses, demons, paralysis. Dare I hope to believe he can heal me after 12 years of bleeding?! If only I could touch his hem, I believe I could actually be well.

Better get cleaned up and head out to try and get close enough to do that. She cleans up and heads out, listening for news of exactly where He will pass by. AS she gets close, she realizes this is going to be harder than she thought. Wow,  crowds around Him are so packed! She tells herself to just keep pushing through!

There he is! So afraid of touching him – I am unclean and I have made everyone I touched to get close to him unclean. This had better work or I will be stoned for being in public and not crying “Unclean!” as I walk among them. Her stomach tightened at the thought.

But I must try.

Get low.

Reach for his hem…

There I did it!

Something happened…

I feel different….

The crowd is clearing and Jesus is asking who touched him. Dare I speak up? I am afraid to. He asks again. I speak up and say it was me. He tells me my faith has made me well and to go in peace.

Jesus healed me!

He really healed me!

I am not bleeding!

Praise the Lord!”

I tell everyone all the way home about this Jesus who healed me. My shame removed and my future changed by touching the Messiah’s hem. So much joy! So many possibilities for my future! What will I do next?

(Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:21-34; Luke 8:42b-48)

Two women.

Two stories of encounters with Jesus that forever changed:

  • what they believed about themselves and their true need
  • who they believed in – God in the flesh – the promised Messiah

This gave them:

  • a testimony to share – He had healed them inside AND out
  • an eternal purpose in His kingdom – their story had changed their life’s direction

All this happened in a time period when women were not officially allowed to be taught the Scriptures, nor have their eyewitness accounts believed. Jesus turned all that upside down by teaching them, allowing them to touch Him, showing Himself to be the long-awaited Messiah.

Their encounters with Jesus did not leave them the same.

How could they?

Jesus had forever changed these women’s very lives!

He wants to do the same for YOU.

No matter who you are or what you have been through, the Lord is calling you to Himself to be used for His glory – as he reaches a lost, broken world, one woman at a time. Will you trust Him to heal, change, and use YOU?

Ways to Let Jesus Engage YOU Through YOUR Story:

  • What is the story of YOUR encounter with Jesus?
  • How did that encounter change you and the direction of your life?
  • How has He used your story to reach others in your life?
  • How is He leading you to reach out and trust Him for even more, believing He can and will?
  • How can I be encouraging to you as you make this decision to live forward without fear, fully confident in Him to heal, transform and use you for His glory?