Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Socially Unacceptable

It's the middle of the day, not the usual time a woman would be going to the well to fill up her water jar.  She's alone and we don't know why, but for whatever reason she didn't want to go with all the other women to the well.  She's probably lost in her own thoughts or she would have seen the man leaning up against the well.  This could be a dangerous situation...  Especially when He, a man and a Jew, neither of which should have anything to do with her, asks for a drink. 

This man is not like the men she knows or has known though.  He tells her he can give her living water and then reveals himself as Messiah...  asks about her husband, and then we find out why she's a social outcast.  She's a woman with a reputation.  Married five times and now living with a man that she's not married to.  What a time for the disciples to walk up and see who their master is talking to.  They would have known exactly what sort of women this is, but they don't say anything.  I love Jesus more in this moment than any other...  He disregards social standards (talking with a women), He ignores racial strife (Jews and Samaritans hated each other), and seems oblivious to what this interaction may do to his reputation.  He extends grace where every one else heaps shame.  He promises eternal life, where others would demand punishment.  He offers his presence when the world excludes.  It's being socially unacceptable that thrusts her into the arms of the Savior.

I've been this woman.  When I was socially unacceptable and on the fringe of society, Jesus found me.  When no person, man, woman, friend or family could satisfy my lonely soul.  When I searched for love in all the wrong places and ended up used, abused and discarded, Jesus found me.  He offered me living water so that I would never thirst again. 

Through the years I have turned my heart to other things looking for love and coming up dry.  Whether it was from my husband, my children, family or friends, they could never fulfill me.  It's in the loneliest places that He finds me again.  He reminds me of what my heart already knows.  He alone can satisfy my soul. 

I am prone to wander away from God.  My heart strays away and I start looking for other things or people to fill me up.  I have to be reminded over and over that I will find no satisfaction in other things.  God is faithful to remind me where to find that love.  In Christ alone.  I found a little treasure of a verse today in Titus 3:4-8 

The Angela translation of these verses are...  God through Jesus was so kind and loving toward us that he saved us not by our own good deeds, but according to his mercy and the washing and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which He POURED out ABUNDANTLY through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being declared righteous through His Grace we are now his children and have the hope of ETERNAL LIFE.  This is a faithful saying and these things I want you to CONSTANTLY AFFIRM.

and Phillipians 4:8 "...Whatever things are true, honest, just, and pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of a good report think on those things."

If you are a Christian then Jesus has given you His spirit (living water) to satisfy you hunger and thirst for God.  We never have to thirst again,  The battle that we have and the reason that we are so thirsty, is our mind.  What we dwell on, what we believe, what we think about, determines whether we will be full or empty.  What we seek after matters.  What we give our minds and hearts to will either eat at us like a cancer or fill us with unexplainable peace and joy.  The key is constantly affirming that word that God has given us.  My favorite book in the Bible is Ephesians...  I read and reread it and read it again...  There I am reminded that I am chosen.  I am loved.  I am adopted.  I learn that no matter how socially awkward I may be in this life, the God of the UNIVERSE has chosen me.  That when I am rejected by others I am chosen by him.

Like a kid in the schoolyard who is picked last, I may never have what this world deems as valuable, but the One who made all this and rules eternity has chosen me to be on His team...  that's gotta mean something.  It's not up to other people to decide whether I'm worthy or not.  God in His good pleasure (eph 1:5) has chosen me.  That's got to mean something, so if it does mean something I need to constantly affirm this truth. 

When my thoughts turn dark and I believe the things that I hear, my heart turns to my idols again to fill me up.  When I'm spent and have nothing left, He finds me again.  How do I overcome this?  Battle the lies with His truth.  Believe His word and speak it to my heart.  When I hear I'm not worthy, battle it with his truth, I'm chosen.  When I feel unloved and unwanted, remember I'm adopted.  When I think this life is all there is, remember I have been given life eternal and one day I will be in Paradise with my savior.  When the world tells me I'm unimportant, trust that I am so valuable that God sent His own son to purchase my life. 

So, when you feel socially unacceptable, lonely and isolated, remember that the Creator of the Universe says you are so valuable He gave his own son to redeem your life.  His love and grace He has lavished on us through Jesus his son.  Don't let how other people treat you decide your worth.  Only the One who created you has the right to do that!

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