A response to John 4:7-14


“A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”   John 4: 7-14


As I read about Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well, I believe that the Lord brought to mind an analogy reminding me to turn to the Holy Spirit for strength and endurance rather than relying on what strength I think I can conjure up on my own. 

There is a dusty, weary traveler walking through a desert-like place. He is parched and dry after many days of travel. Then he comes across an oasis with a sparkling waterfall that offers cold and refreshing water. But instead of drinking from the waterfall, he passes it by and decides to rely on his own saliva to sustain him. 

This analogy then reminded me of a waterfall I had witnessed in real life. When I visited The Horseshoe Falls in Niagara, Canada I got to view it from the top and also  from below while on a tourist boat. My main memory from that experience was the awe I felt at the sheer volume of water that fell over the side and how fast! The Park’s website states that the amount of water that flows over the Horseshoe Falls is 681,750 gallons per second. That’s just mind boggling to me!

Through this reminiscing, I was convicted and realized that when I try to rely on my own strength to do anything, I ignore the offer that the Holy Spirit holds out to me. The amount of strength, power, and grace available to me through the Holy Spirit is like the Horseshoe Falls, staggering and ever-flowing. All I need to replenish my dry and thirsty soul is just a little bit from the eternal spring (or waterfall) but I’m usually stubborn in my self-sufficiency by trying to rely on my own strength (or saliva). 

What ends up happening is frustration and burn-out when I turn inward for endurance.I forget how freely and joyfully I received the gift of salvation when I first became a Christian. As I continue my journey on earth, I can so easily fall back into self-reliance.  But when I turn in prayer to God and ask Him for His strength, I’m able to do things I wouldn’t be able to do on my own. Isaiah 41:29 says “He gives power to the faint,and to him who has no might he increases strength.


Lord, may our disposition, our first inclination in any circumstance be to turn to You in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to satisfy and guide us. We are weak and have no strength on our own. We need to rely on You and Your sustaining grace to carry us through. You know that we get tired and discouraged and You never do! So, please bring us to the well of Your love to drink deeply and eagerly and rid us of the disposition of self-reliance. Thank You that you promise to do this and we trust that You will complete all Your promises because You have never failed us yet.

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