Today’s Gospel Reading: John 4: 5-42
Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there. Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon.
A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” —For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.— Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who 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 do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep; where then can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Jesus said to her, “Go call your husband and come back.” The woman answered and said to him, “I do not have a husband.” Jesus answered her, “You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’ For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true.” The woman said to him, “Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You people worship what you do not understand; we worship what we understand, because salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him. God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ; when he comes, he will tell us everything.” Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one speaking with you.”
At that moment his disciples returned, and were amazed that he was talking with a woman, but still no one said, “What are you looking for?” or “Why are you talking with her?” The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said to the people, “Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Christ?” They went out of the town and came to him. Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” So the disciples said to one another, “Could someone have brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work. Do you not say, ‘In four months the harvest will be here’? I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest. The reaper is already receiving payment and gathering crops for eternal life, so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together. For here the saying is verified that ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the work, and you are sharing the fruits of their work.”
Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me everything I have done.” When the Samaritans came to him, they invited him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. Many more began to believe in him because of his word, and they said to the woman, “We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”
God Uses Your Desperate Situation to Build a Relationship with You
The first time I came to a prayer meeting was when I was six or seven years old. My parents were still in their early thirties that time, but what came to my mind was, "There are so many old people singing and dancing."
I never understood why they were singing out loud and dancing around where passers-by can see them. (Our parish is in the middle of a marketplace. You can just imagine how many people were looking at them as they were singing and dancing.)
I really thought it was embarrassing. I even thought that I would never, ever join prayer meetings, sing out loud, and dance around.
But, fast forward to today, I sing my heart out and even dance...for God. I would even lose myself in praise and worship for the Lord. Whenever I worship God, I feel so alive. I feel so much fire and passion for the Lord.
Whenever I worship God, I feel His overwhelming presence.
I now understand why my parents attended prayer meetings, sang their hearts out, and danced for the Lord. It was not for other people to see. It was not just to enjoy singing or dancing. It was not about pleasing their fellow attendees. It was about seeing the face of God in worship and feeling His overwhelming presence.
A God of Broken People
One thing you will definitely notice in prayer meetings is that they are full of desperate and "needy" people.
In prayer meetings, there are people who are sick. There are people who are struggling financially. There are people who are praying for love life. (Yes, that’s right!)
There are also people who have just broken up with their boyfriends or girlfriends. There are people who are addicted to drugs. There are people who have problems in their marriages or in their families.
In prayer meetings, you will find the most problematic people.
I met with a good friend yesterday. He told me that I am one of the smartest friends he has. (I told you he's a good friend.)
I consider myself as a successful student when I was still studying. I was a consistent honors student in primary school, usually at the cream or second cream section in high school, and never had a failing grade in college. In addition, I was always a student leader.
I had never experienced any failure in my life.
So, when my career did not take off as I planned it would, I felt like a failure. Failed interviews after failed interviews drained me of my confidence, belief, and passion to live each day of my life.
Even when I started working, I never recovered. Waking up in the morning without purpose and without something to pursue was a struggle. I never learned how to handle temporary failures and set backs.
Then, everything else in my life followed. My relationship with my family got strained because I became an angry person. My finances was a mess because I kept buying material things to ease the pain from my lack of success. Worse, without success, I just did not know myself.
When I, myself, was broken, that's also when I came to God. That's when I sought Him. That's when I began to acknowledge His presence and His workings in my life. That's when I opened myself to have a personal relationship with Him.
Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
How did the Samaritan woman believe Jesus was the Messiah? Was it because He said so Himself? Was it because He said He would give her living water?
The Samaritan woman believed Jesus when He told her about her five husbands and the man she was living with at that time. Jesus got very personal with her. He talked to her about something she was broken about. He talked to her about her weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
Just like with us, Jesus used her weaknesses and brokenness to draw her closer to Him. He used her weaknesses to build a relationship with her.
Then, the Samaritan woman went and proclaimed the name of Jesus and the glory of God.
Just like the Samaritan woman, we, the broken people are going out to proclaim the name of Jesus and the glory of God. We are testifying to how God's love has changed our lives and brought heaven here on earth for us.
From a poor student in college, a personal friend of mine became very successful in his career and his small online business. From a self-admitted bum, one of my mentors became a very successful entrepreneur with businesses all over Metro Manila and in the provinces.
From a person who has failed in his career, in his small business, in his finances, in his family life, and in his relationships, I am now starting anew in my career and in entrepreneurship with a whole lot more of confidence and determination.
But, our successes started when God used our desperate situations to draw us closer to Him. And now, we proclaim Jesus and the glory of God in our healing and our successes. We even sing and dance together in our prayer meetings and gatherings! We lose ourselves in worship of Him. We march to the beat of God’s drums!
God's army is an army of broken people. Do you want to join His army of broken people?
Make Use of Your Desperate Situation
Friend, are you in a desperate situation right now? What are you suffering from? Poor health? Broken relationships? Challenges in your career or in your finances?
Do you have nothing or no one to run to? What is your pain?
Run towards God. Run towards your loving Father. He is waiting for you with His arms open wide.
He knows your pains and sufferings. He using them to draw you closer to Him. He will use them to build a personal relationship with you.
If God uses your pains and sufferings to draw you closer to Him, use them as well to catapult yourself to your victory. Pains and sufferings are inevitable in this life. You might as well make use of them.
Your temporary pain is just the beginning of a personal relationship with Him. And your personal relationship with Him is the beginning of your permanent victory.
Friend, do not allow your current pain and suffering have mastery over you. Have mastery over them. Use them to draw yourself closer to God and to catapult yourself to your success. Use them right.
God is with you.
PS. Friend, thank you so much for visiting and welcome to Charging the Lines! I’m all out of words right now. I’m really overwhelmed. It has been a long, painful, but fulfilling journey to launch my new website after my first one got hacked. I’m just so grateful to God, to my family, to my friends, to my brothers and sisters in Christ, and to all the people who supported me when I was on the verge of giving up. Friend, thank you!
Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.