What is one thing I have taken for granted recently? Hot water.
A few weekends ago, our hot water heater stopped working. My husband attempted to coax it back to temporary life until we could get it replaced but to not avail.
One week. That’s how long it took to replace our hot water heater.
For one week, I heated multiple pots of water on our stove to warm the children’s bath each evening. I repeated this again for mine in the morning, and my husband showered using a basin of prepared hot water followed by a quick rinse with the cold shower head.
We know we are blessed to have running water and even more blessed to have access to hot water on a regular day. Many do not have that blessing. Sometimes it’s good to do without to remind us just how blessed we truly are.
As I got up early to heat the water each day, I was reminded of the woman at the well. She had to walk outside of town just to get water. Here I was only mildly inconvenienced to travel to the kitchen sink. What was life like for her and other women of her day who took daily trips to the well?
She went during the hottest time of day to avoid interaction with others. Imagine being such an outcast and shunned to the extent you are willing to draw and carry water during the hottest part of the day.
As I stood in my air conditioned kitchen waiting for the water to heat enough to effectively warm the bath, I wondered what it would be like to encounter Jesus like she did.
What if she had been too rushed for Jesus?
I don’t know about you, but I get very grumpy when I am hot and I hate sweating if I’m not working out. She approached the well no doubt hot, sweaty, and unpolished. If she was anything like me, she was hardly in the mood for small talk under those conditions and just wanted to get her water and go home.
As the moment progressed, not only did she engage in small talk with. Jewish man (unheard of for a Samaritan woman) but she asked some challenging questions for her time. Jesus answered them all. This woman was able to hear the truth of who He was because she did not rush through her chore. She did not grumble or tell Jesus how unhappy she was to be there. She didn’t mention she had no time to talk for she needed to return with water. She was not so focused on her mission that she missed His.
Impatience can often lead to missed opportunity.
Why was I so impatient waiting for water to warm? Was this, perhaps, an opportunity for me to sit and chat with Jesus in the early morning hours when no one else was around? I decided it was. Friends, in my week of inconvenience I made a decision to sit at my dining room table and spend a few extra moments with Jesus each morning.
There is now a fancy hot water heater in our basement and I have resumed steamy showers. I am extremely grateful for this. But I have held onto my morning moments with Jesus. I meet Him at the well each morning, the well my soul thirsts for. I’ve learned from this unnamed Samaritan woman to focus on His words, not my to do list, my social status, or even my personal grievances. As a result, I leave my house with much more optimism and hope, similar to that of the woman at the well.
We can come to Him depleted and empty. He will fill us with the hope and joy we need for each day. I pray our hot water heater never fails again. But if it does, I know what to do.