Give me a drink – Asbury University
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Give me a drink

June 19, 2023

John 4:7

Glenn Stallsmith ’96
Pastor, Oxford United Methodist Church, Oxford, North Carolina

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” — John 4:7

Like most alumni, I did not make it to Wilmore for the revival in February, tethered to home by other responsibilities. I was not, however, restricted from meeting with Jesus during those days. Encounters with God happen in any number of places, often following the pattern of the Samaritan woman’s meeting with Jesus at the well.

Jesus’s first words to the woman were, “give me a drink.” Surely this would have touched a raw nerve; this woman’s burden was doing other people’s chores. Divorced and/or widowed at least five times, she was now relegated to the status of a non-wife, probably in the home of an in-law who was obligated to care for her. Her daily task was to fetch water for his household. Tired of the awkward social interactions that came with the stigma of this status, she opted to go to the well in the middle of the day, when she hoped no one else would be there to observe and comment. Yet Jesus met her there and spoke directly to the thing that most bothered her.

While encounters with God may begin with our deepest needs, they move to worship and adoration, taking our concerns and wrapping them up into the lordship of the Son. Her needs were turned into an opportunity to have living water. Her notoriety became a platform to evangelize the entire village.

During the revival that was happening hundreds of miles away, I asked God for my own encounter with Jesus. I was anxious about insecurities related to my own ministry – a new church appointment within a denomination undergoing schism. My prayer was answered, within a matter of minutes. Jesus replaced my anxiety with God’s peace. In that moment, and in the weeks that have followed, I experience the assurance of God’s wellspring of water that “gushes up to eternal life.”