There have been so many references and thoughts – from all different sources – lately regarding the Samaritan woman and her encounter with Jesus at the well. When something comes to my attention, like that, repeatedly in a short amount of time, I take note. I decided to read the story again because, like so many others, I love this meeting. And the account of it in scripture.
“And he must needs go through Samaria.” John 4:3
I love the King James – for so many reasons – but I just love the language. He (Jesus) “must needs go.” It was needful, or necessary, for Jesus to go through Samaria on his way to Galilee. This was a detour, of sorts, from the usual route. Certainly from the way that the disciples expected or planned.
I’m sure God has done something similar in your life. The Spirit nudges you to change your plans. To go a different route or alter your agenda. He has for me as well. Of course, when I sense these promptings, rarely do I know the reason why. Certainly not the full extent. I move forward wondering – curious – what He might have in store or, if I’m honest, sometimes questioning is it really necessary. However, Jesus had none of those doubts or apprehensions when He headed for Samaria.
He did not “just happen” to be at the well…just when this woman was coming to draw water. It did not “just happen” that the disciples at left to go buy food. Every aspect of this encounter was perfectly orchestrated, anticipated and known by the savior. He was waiting at the well specifically to meet this woman. Sometimes when I read these wonderful Bible accounts, I can miss some of the miracle because I read through the lens of my thought process.
I am thrilled when I can look back at the end of a day and see clearly why God redirected my paths. The divine appointment that was waiting for me. The blessing of changed plans. But Jesus did not have to wait until after the fact. He already knew. He was simply waiting. Waiting to meet this woman and to change her life forever. I love that mental image of Him sitting there – anticipating her arrival. Perhaps discreetly smiling as she came around the corner and into view. Isn’t that wonderful??!
And, He is still waiting. Prepared and ready to meet us right where we are. In our most pitiful conditions or circumstances. Waiting to make all the difference. The thought, alone, should make a difference in my day!