Posted on | January 12, 2013 | 1 Comment
Today, I would like to write something different than I have written before. Today, I just would like to share a story about hope, life, and a fresh start. Have you ever felt like making a fresh start in life?
I am sure you have. Probably some, if not most, of you made a commitment to a fresh start to start the new year.
This year is going to be different.
I am going to stop some bad habits
I am going to lose weight.
I am going to find a new job.
I am going to be a better person
I am going to be a better father
I am going to be a better wife.
The problem however, is that while our intentions are good, our will and our ability are not, and we to often fall back into the same habits, the same actions, the same pattern that brought us to where we are at in the first place.
When that happens enough times in our life, sometimes we feel like our situation becomes hopeless.
Well, whatever your situation, today, I want to offer you the hope of a fresh start.
I am going to tell you the story of the woman at the well that Jesus meets on his way through Samaria. I want us to see this story from this woman’s point of view today, I am going to take some of the cultural manners and customs that were prevalent at the time and weave them in this story to be able to get a fuller picture of this woman’s point of view so we might better understand the offer of hope, the offer of a fresh start, that is made to each of us through this story even if we feel we are in a hopeless situation.
Let’s look deep into the story, and see the context of the whole thing.
She is in her room. She picks up her clay jar.
She opens the door and the heat of the day hits her in the face. Taken back for a moment, she exits and looks up and down the dusty street. It is relatively quite. It is not really a good time to fetch water. In fact it is not a good time to be outside.
The sun is at it’s peak and it is beating down on her.
She could go later, when it is cooler, but that would mean facing the other women there.
That’s why she is going now. She doesn’t want to face the other women there. She is the town “bad girl.” She is sleeping with a guy whom she is not married to.
She has already been married 5 times and none of those relationships worked out.
She has tried for a fresh start before by trying to change her circumstance. Each of those 5 times she entered with the hope of having a different life.
Each time she vowed that this would be different. Life would be better.
It never was though.
Now she had given up on marriage, given up on really living, because she had given up on hope.
Now she was just existing from day to day. Living the Life of a Shadow
You see, Living Life without Hope is only a Shadow. Our shadow’s exist, but they don’t live.
Are you living life on earth like a shadow? Are you living life without hope, only existing?
You go from day to day doing what you need to do. You try not to dwell on the past because there are a lot of hurts and bad choices in the past. Why did I start smoking or drinking or using drugs?
Now you’re addicted. Why did I give into peer pressure? Why didn’t I go to college? Why did I get divorced? Why, Why, Why? The past is too painful. You don’t think about it. But the sad part is that you don’t think much about the future either, because you don’t think there is one for you.
Instead, you just exist. You don’t really live. You only live a shadow of a life.
You get up and work another day, do another load of laundry. Make dinner. Make another sales call.
Don’t think about the past and don’t think about the future. Just go and do what you need to do. Exist but don’t live. That’s what this woman is doing.
There are a lot of you out there that may be in this same situation. It’s a tough one, and I can’t even begin to understand how hard it is for you.
You see, while living life without hope is only a shadow of living. Living life with Hope can be Scary. It can be scary because if we hope and we are wrong, we can be disappointed.
So many times we are disappointed in life. We are disappointed by people. We are disappointed with circumstances. We are disappointed with ourselves. We are afraid of being disappointed. So we don’t put ourselves in a position to hope. We think it will be better not to hope. We think it will make life easier to live.
But as we live a hopeless life, we don’t really live. We only exist. We are shadows.
The story Continues…
She made it back to the town… No longer thinking of what people are thinking of her or afraid of them speaking at her. No longer mad at the people of this town who for so long treated her as an outcast.
She had been given hope while she may have still have had a past with 5 different men as husbands and a future that was uncertain, she was really living now because her hope was in God, who came to meet her where she was at. She believed and told the towns people.
He knew my past. He knew my present. And He spoke to me anyway.
There is hope for a fresh start no matter what your past, no matter what is going on right now.
Do you have hope today? Do you want to live a life of hope?
Understand though that “Living Life with Hope means Living Life with God!” There is a fresh start for anyone.
It is about being in relationship with Jesus Christ and recognizing that all that we think is going to be able to bring fulfillment and a fresh start is nothing next to what truly can bring that fulfillment, a relationship with the Messiah, Jesus Christ. No matter what life story you have, there is a fresh start for you.
Blessings to you and yours!