If you have not done so before, please review the Background on the Program
As you start to review this episode, please know that YOU matter. Regardless of what you are struggling with, regardless of the depths of your sorrows and regardless of how lonely you feel, the Good News is that YOU matter. I hope the message below nourishes you in the most meaningful way to comfort you and strengthen you to keep climbing into the ring to face your battles.
Episode #9: Discarded
Today’s episode starts with a song from Bob Dylan, Knocking on Heaven’s Door.
Please spend a few minutes listening to any version you can find on the internet.
I hope you enjoyed that song. Bob Dylan has impacted generations with his words and music. Starting in the 1960s, Bob Dylan continues to draw an audience that is looking for freedom to express themselves and for some group where they can feel they belong. Knocking on Heaven’s Door was written to help support a movie at the time and today this song helps us all realize the truth that at some point, of which we have no control over, the end will be near and we will all be “knock, knock, knockin’ on Heaven’s door.”
It is common that during those thoughts about the end of our lives we all become a bit reflective and try to piece together some understanding of the pain and suffering we endured along with the joy and peace we encountered in our journey. As we look to the ancient scriptures for some truth to help guide our understanding, we discover an incredible reminder of the truth that even though the world may make us feel discarded and unwanted at times, God’s loving arms are ready to embrace us and redeem us no matter what we have done, no matter where we have been, and importantly, no matter what others may think of us.
As we look into the story most commonly referred to as “the woman at the well” we find a story of redemption that we can all resonate with in the book of John in Chapter 4 versus 3 through 42 (John 4:3-42) (please find a version of this scripture on the internet).
The background of this situation is that Jesus has been ministering in a number of places and was beginning to develop a following which had the traditionalists at the time quite concerned. Jesus and his disciples were traveling to another town to spread their message when Jesus decided to take a break from the group and went to sit and rest by a well in Samaria.
As the story unfolds, Jesus meets a woman from the town coming to get water at the well during the middle of the day. As they engage in conversation, it is uncovered that the woman has been married five times and is currently living with another man. Jesus comforts the woman and tells her the truth that he has come to give her redemption and those who accept this offer of redemption “will never thirst again.”
In many messages preached about this story, there is a tendency to be in a judgmental tone about the woman at the well. She has been married and divorced five times and is now living with another man. In the minds of many listening to the story, we may think, “Wow, what a troubled person and isn’t it nice that Jesus is comforting a sinner like her…I am not as messed up as that, but it is nice to know Jesus cared about this troubled woman and that makes me feel good.”
However, when we take that judgmental view of this story, we miss the fundamental truth that can comfort all of us in our struggles when we feel discarded during our journey. Here are a few points of view to help better understand the meeting that Jesus had with the woman at the well:
- Jesus went out of his way to connect with her. He broke away from traveling with his disciples to specifically create this encounter. Jesus is creating these same encounters for us and if we can open our eyes and our hearts, we will see them.
- By all accounts, the woman at the well felt completely rejected and discarded in this life. The laws at the time would only allow a man to determine a divorce. In essence, she was rejected by five men who sought to divorce her from the most cherished relationship of our choosing in this life. She was still searching for a relationship that could help her feel she mattered to someone else in this world by virtue of her living with another man.
- How would we feel if we had been publicly rejected five times from the most intimate relationship of our life? How could we carry on after being rejected time after time?
- The woman went to get water at the well at the hottest time of the day when no one else would be there so she could avoid being seen and judged by others. Jesus reminds us that he has come to redeem us no matter what others may think of us or no matter what we may think of ourselves.
In this story of the woman at the well, we find the truth that we can all feel discarded at times in our lives either by a family member, by those in the workplace, and by those in the community that may make us feel ostracized because of who we are. It is important to remember that God stands ready to redeem us and make it known that we matter and we have been chosen by him no matter what our current situation is.
Take a moment to reflect on the following questions:
- When have I felt rejected in my closest relationships?
- What has been my typical response when I have felt rejected and what could I do to be more effective in my response in the future to be my best for those I care about most?
As you continue along in your journey, please remember that we all experience feelings of rejection in this world which can make us feel all alone. If you find yourself feeling rejected and in a dark valley today, please remember that (1) God promises and is always faithful to accept us no matter what others may think about us and we should call on Him in our time of need (2) Please reach out to a close friend to talk things through and please consider me as one of your friends today.
As you continue to reflect on the message, please take a moment to search the internet to find and listen to Allison Krauss and Andrea Bocelli together singing, Amazing Grace
How can I help you today? My mobile is 269-370-9275 and my email is email@example.com
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