I will never forget the first time I saw a Hydroflask in Haiti, and the cold, clean water that it could hold for hours upon hours. In hot Haiti, water never stayed cold for too long, but if you had a Hydroflask…all bets were off.
And friends, this was long before Hydroflask bottles were cool in the States. My friend had given me one for my birthday that she had finagled one of our coworkers in the States to purchase and bring down for me. It was a 40 ounce bottle, and that thing held power over me I never knew could exist from a bottle. I once put a Chick-fil-a large unsweet ice tea into my Hydroflask in the Atlanta airport on my way back to Port-au-Prince. That tea still had ice 24 hours later.
My. Life. Was. Changed.
One of my favorite stories when Jesus gets interrupted along his journey is when he is talking with the woman at the well in John 4. I’m going to save you my soapbox dialogue on all the reasons I love that, and instead fast forward to John 4:28-30.
The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him.
Friends, the woman was so excited to go tell people that she had been with the Messiah…she left her water jar. You no more left your water jar behind in Biblical times, than you would leave any water bottle behind in the heat of the day in Haiti. I cannot even imagine the Samaritan woman’s overwhelming emotions to leave her water jar behind.
I ended up leaving that Hydroflask behind in an airport bathroom because I was beyond excited to see a friend I had not seen in a long time. It takes a lot of excitement to want to leave a water bottle like that behind. And that pales in comparison to what the Samaritan woman would have had to do in order to get others to listen to her and then want to go see Jesus. She was not popular or trusted in that community, she was an outcast. Who listens to an outcast? No one. But they did, something had changed in her. By accepting her and offering her living water Jesus had changed her.
When was the last time you felt that excitement about Jesus?
When was the last time someone was magnetically drawn to how they saw Jesus reflected in you?
When was the last time you left something incredibly important behind in your excitement to tell the stories of Jesus or to serve someone as an extension of your love for Jesus?
Maybe you’ve never felt those things, and friends, that is okay. Maybe today is that day for you to experience that joy and freedom. Maybe it is next week, but friends, seek it out and find it.
There is something else that happens in verses 31-34 that I am seeing in a new way this week thanks for Red Letter Challenge.
Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.”
But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.”
“Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other.
Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.
Jesus’ interaction with the woman was so life-giving in purpose and sentness that he didn’t even need the meal that the disciples went off in search of. Jesus was refreshed, renewed and ready for the next interruption in the path before him. Sit under that for a minute. That interaction would have led many of us straight into nap time. But not Jesus, I think it made him electric with the Holy Spirit coursing through his body. I think he was buzzing.
And that, friends, is exactly what it feels like to know you have fulfilled what God invited you to be a part of around you. Language is different: calling, sent, purpose, etc. But when you have found your place where God needs you, language doesn’t matter.
May we be refreshed and renewed at interactions that interrupt us and create opportunities for us to serve the One who sent us.