I have heard it said that there is in every human heart a missing piece. This piece has a peculiar shape. It’s neither a square nor a circle. It’s not even a triangle. It cannot be described as a star or a diamond shape and it most certainly isn’t an uneven parallelogram. Its shape defies description.
When that piece finds its home in the center of your being, it brings to you a satisfaction and fulfillment with which nothing else can compete. But when that spot in your heart for which that missing piece is designed remains unfilled, it presents the dilemma of an aching vacuum, a bottomless yearning that leaves you heartsick, thirsting and hungering for something more.
But it is a more mundane thirst that drives a certain village woman to a well in the dry and dusty heat of the middle of the day. When she arrives at the lonely well, she finds only one other person there … waiting for her here in a divinely appointed encounter is the only One Who can fill an insatiable longing hidden deeply within her life.
For years she has been looking to men to fit the empty and aching void in her heart. But they can’t do it. The hole in her life isn’t man-shaped. From one relationship to another she’s run, never finding happiness… never finding completeness. But today is different. Today she’s met the Savior.
“There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink.’ …. Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and Who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink,” you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water…. Who drinks of this (well) water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life’” (John 4:7,10,13-14 ESV).
Of course, she really doesn’t have any idea what in the world He’s talking about. “Ask You for a drink?” she must think. “I’m the one with the water jar! But hey! If You COULD give me that water, I wouldn’t have to come back to the well anymore.” No longer would she have to carry that heavy jar all the way to the well and then all the way back home. No longer would she have to endure the venom of the cold and baleful stares of the other women in the village or pretend to not notice the mocking sideways leers of the men she passes in the street.
“…Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water” (John 4:15 ESV).
The tender Savior looks upon her and sees how she has lived. He discerns the choices she’s made and knows the emptiness that still leaves her hurting. In tenderness, He lovingly moves to lay bare all the fruitlessness of her past pursuits so that her eyesight might be cleared enough to let her see real hope before her.
“Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come here.’ The woman answered Him, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You are right in saying, “I have no husband”; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true’” (John 4:16-18 ESV).
Imagine her bewilderment when it finally begins to hit home that something divine is happening. The dawn of God’s mercy begins to pierce the night of her confusion and despair and the music of His grace breaks through the deafness of her mundane sensibilities. “Oh, I get it. You’re a prophet, right?” she seems to say in verse 19. And while she doesn’t quite perceive the enormity of the moment in that God Himself is speaking with her, she knows something unusual is going on. “The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming (He Who is called Christ). When He comes, He will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am he’” (John 4:25-26 ESV).
Suddenly the lights come on in the woman’s heart. Suddenly she knows that she has found what she’s been missing her entire life. Not acceptance from a man. Not physical pleasure. Not financial security. The hole in her life is God-shaped therefore only one thing may fill it. All the things in her past to which she’s looked for meaning and purpose are illuminated in the revealing light of truth. All those seem plastic and temporary now. All seem artificial or at least superficial. Here on a day that is otherwise like any other, she finds God reaching out to her, ready to fill the void.
And still ready today to fill the empty space in our hearts, He reaches out to you and me with the one, all-important missing piece: His love. As we turn to Him in faith and confess our sin and repent of going our own way, we can know that as He met with tenderness the guilty yet hurting woman at the well in John chapter 4, He also will meet us at whatever place we find ourselves. He is ready to do a work of grace in your heart today. He is ready to lay bare plastic dreams and synthetic ambitions, but only so that He can give to you living water that will spring up into a fountain of eternal life!
“The LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail” (Isaiah 58:11 ESV).
Pastor Thom Mollohan leads Pathway Community Church and may be reached for comments or questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.