ODJ: your story

September 1, 2013 

READ: John 4:1-30  

Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could He possibly be the Messiah? (v.29).

As we make decisions in response to everydaysituations, we don’t usually stop to unpack the why behind the what of our choices. We typically respond based on what we see; and, in doing so, we forget that almost every situation has a story behind it.

Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well reminds us that our interactions with others and our own daily decisions do not occur in isolation (John 4:7). Hiding her expectation of being rejected under a guise of pragmatism, the Samaritan woman simply wanted to know she was loved. But neither she nor others could see how her story continued to drive her choices. The past is powerful; and if we could pull back the layers, we might be surprised to find how loudly our wounds speak—even in the little decisions of life. Defensive and accustomed to isolation, the Samaritan woman focused on the surface of her circumstances. She set out for water and planned to return to life as usual (v.12).

Just like the woman from Samaria, we try to navigate hard places in life by removing our decisions far from the realm of our story—keeping things focused on only the practical. We want to forget the past and move on in hopes of change, even though we ironically often choose behaviours that keep us chained to yesterday.

But for the woman at the well, and for us, Jesus redefines everything (2 Corinthians 5:17). He knew everything the woman had done throughout her life, and yet He still promised her that life could be different (John 4:10,13-14). By redeeming our story, He calls us to see beyond the past as we allow Him to take what was in order to bring about what will be (Jeremiah 29:11-14; Colossians 1:13-14). —Regina Franklin

Mark 11:20-33 ‹

Read John 8:1-12 to see how God transforms our past experiences from a place of bondage to a place of abundance.
What parts of your story do you see as unredeemable? What is Jesus revealing to you about them and about His transforming power?