Pella Chronicle

May 3, 2013

Roadblocks to a satisfying life

By Rick Cowman
The Chronicle

Pella —

Did you know God has a plan for your life?  And you can have a life that is fulfilling?  I’m not talking about a FULL life, I’m sure most of our lives are too full already!  Rather, I’m talking about a life that has meaning and brings satisfaction.  There’s an old rock and roll song from the 60’s (I’m dating myself here) by the Rolling Stones called, “Can’t Get No Satisfaction“. Many of us could make that declaration today, couldn’t we?  Well, Jesus said something about this dilemma in John 10, verse 10.  He said “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life!”  So, have you experienced that? Has YOUR life brought fulfillment and satisfaction?  Or, have there been some roadblocks along the way?
In the fourth chapter of John we find Jesus in a conversation with a woman at a well.  Take a few minutes and read this chapter.  This woman found herself in a lifestyle that had left her thirsty and wanting.  As we look at this passage (verses 3 – 29), we’ll see some of the roadblocks in this woman’s life that was keeping her (and perhaps us) from experiencing the life that satisfies and brings contentment!  Have you ever been confronted by a roadblock in the road on your way somewhere?  What did it tell you?  You can’t get there from here!  Roadblocks detour you from where you need to be!
Roadblock number one:  A FEELING OF WORTHLESSNESS.  The text implies she came to this well in the heat of the day – probably to avoid the ridicule of the other women for her lifestyle.  As a Samaritan woman she was considered an outcast by the Jews.  And yet, Jesus speaks to her and asks her for a drink of water. The woman says to Jesus (vs 9), “Why are you asking ME for a drink?”  Now, it would be unheard of for a Jew, especially a Rabbi to even talk to this woman.  She would certainly not have been welcome in the Temple.  A number of years ago a church I’m aware of did some remodeling to the entrance to their church building, and in the interest of safety they placed a sign on the front door, which read, “KEEP OUT!“  Is that the message unchurched people receive from our churches?   If so, listen to this:  Jesus specializes in outcasts!  And He saw in this immoral woman a person of value and purpose and potential!  Let me ask you a question.  How do you see people who are different than yourself;  people of different color, different culture, different financial status, or of different denominational background?  What would you do if someone walked in the doors of your church this Sunday wearing a Budweiser tee shirt and cut offs? Would they feel welcome and valued?  Or, would they feel shunned and ridiculed by our reaction?  This gal came to the well for water, but Jesus says to her (vs 10), “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water!”
Roadblock number two:  AN ATTITUDE OF DOUBT.  Jesus had offered her “living water” to satisfy her soul, but we see she is skeptical of the offer.  She replied, “Where would you get this living water? (vs 11), and “How can you offer better water than (Jacob) and his sons and his animals enjoyed?” (vs 12)  It seemed too good to be true!  She had a hard time believing her life could be different, that she could be truly happy.  She thought it was too late for her, that she had crossed the line.  What about you?  You see, we cannot experience God’s promises beyond our belief that He will keep them! If we expect to be disappointed, we will be.  But God promises us a life of blessing if we’ll simply trust Him and obey Him!
Next time we’ll continue to examine roadblocks that can keep us from the life God promises those who have trusted in Him.