There she is alone at the well… Then a man shows up saying “give me to drink“. She wonders why because the Jews have no dealings with Samaritians. He’s different though and talks to her because He can see she’s in pain. He questions her about who she is. She tells Him the story about the well, Jacob their father and the worship that took place on that very mountain. He gets more personal by wanting to know about her husband. She says I’ve had five. Each of her husbands represented a church, a covering that failed her in some way. Each covering has let her down, abuse in one, lied to in another, manipulated in the third one, abandoned in the fourth one and put out in the fifth one. She’s saddened discussing it all. Five husbands. Five coverings. Five failures. She was done. She was finished with coverings, husbands, churches the whole lot of it. No earthly covering understood her needs.
If you can relate to this woman it is probably because at some time in your life, the church has failed you. This woman has been talked about because she went from one covering/marriage to another. Some of us get talked about for going from church to church but can’t help it because some of us have pain the church can’t fix or won’t address so we search. Some of us need counseling that the church didn’t want to do because it might require a commitment from the leadership to meet with us weekly. Someone may have to miss their favorite TV show to help! Every deliverance doesn’t happen on Sunday and every healing doesn’t happen in the bible study. Some pain, some heartache, some emotional devastation needs to be tended to when others are home eating dinner or chatting on the phone with friends. Her pain was real just like it is for some of us. She was shunned among people of notoriety because of her past. Even in modern circles people still judge us for what we may have done in our past. The bondage this brings is crippling. Some people never forgive our mistakes even if we did repent and some choose to hold it over our heads. The loving church people wouldn’t reach out beyond their comfort zone. The thing is, this woman could have been any of us or possibly she is us?! She was someone with a hurting heart and needed the love of God manifested in a person that would help her heal. She was looking for love with each husband/church/covering and was unable to find it. Like many of us today she felt broken, isolated and ashamed.
But wait….Jesus is the sixth man. He is the sixth covering in the life of this woman who is at this well. Five is the number of grace however six is the number of mankind. Jesus redeemed, healed and offered Himself as her church. He was her covering and her husband. She found that in Him she is truly complete! That day she was the one that got a drink. It was a drink of deliverance! She received living water and she found renewed hope for her life. The gift of the GOOD NEWS was hers that day. She met Jesus! The promised one. The messiah. The only one that can heal every single place she hurt.
Be encouraged child of the most high God~!
Dr. Denise J. Williams is the founder of Broken Vessel Outreach Ministries International. She has just completed her first book entitled “The Healing Of A Broken Vessel” in early 2009. She and her husband reside in Jacksonville, Fl. http://www.thebrokenvessel.com/heal