February 5, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, ‘What do you want?’ or ‘Why are you talking with her?’ Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?’ They came out of the town and made their way toward him.”—John 4:27–30 (NIV)
I love this story and its many implications. In today’s passage, we see how the living water the Samaritan woman received from Jesus IMMEDIATELY became an overflowing fountain in her life. Suddenly, this woman who undoubtedly had a less than sparkling reputation in her community and who avoided her neighbors and townspeople out of shame and fear, found both the belonging she needed in Christ and the boldness to be His witness to the very people she had avoided.
“Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, . . . They said . . . ‘Now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world’” (John 4:39, 42 NIV). If it wasn’t for this woman’s witness, her neighbors may not have come to know Jesus.
Through this, we see an amazing truth that with Jesus our most profound hurt can become our most powerful story! Our greatest pain can be used to bring about great victory, and our deepest shame can be redeemed and repurposed as a tool for His glory and the salvation of many! We see this with the Samaritan woman, we see it with the blind man who said, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see” (John 9:25 NIV), we see it with Paul, Joseph, Job, and Peter, and I’ve seen it in my own journey.
At 11 years old, I was sexually abused by a relative. I didn’t tell anyone for more than 20 years, not even my wife. But a few years ago, I felt the Lord calling me to share it, so I told my wife and friends and I’ve been able to forgive the person and move forward through the Lord’s healing. After that, I was able to share my story during a sermon and was able to pray with and help several people with similar stories. Since then, I’ve also been able to counsel young adults in this area. I’ve seen firsthand and know that if God can use my story to help others and draw them to the living waters of Jesus, then He can do the same through you!
Just like this woman, there’s incredible power when you share your God story with others; sharing what He’s done in your life. More than anything else, the evidence of a changed life speaks to the glory and grace of God’s power. And in the same way that this woman became the first missionary to the Samaritans, you can be a missionary in your community. You can boldly proclaim with your life and story, “Come and see!”
Pause: What does the woman’s story teach us about how Jesus works in our lives and how He uses our past?
Practice: Your story matters. God wants to use your life and past and your story to reach people with the gospel of Jesus! Today, write down what God’s done in your life! Write out your story/your testimony, share it with someone, and thank the Lord for all He’s done.
Pray: Father, thank You for redeeming this broken sinner. Thank You for taking me as I am and making me new. I know I’m still broken and not perfect. I know I’m still in the process; that I have not yet “arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12 NIV), and I thank You for all You’ve already done in my life. Thank You for how You’ve worked and woven redemption, reconciliation, healing, help, hope, peace, strength, identity, belonging, and purpose into my life and story. I pray You would use my story to reach others for the gospel and that, as I have experienced the fountain of living water, I may be the vessel You use to spring up the living water of Jesus in others. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.