John 4:7-15 (CEB)

A Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me some water to drink.” His disciples had gone into the city to buy him some food.

The Samaritan woman asked, “Why do you, a Jewish man, ask for something to drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” (Jews and Samaritans didn’t associate with each other.)

10 Jesus responded, “If you recognized God’s gift and who is saying to you, ‘Give me some water to drink,’ you would be asking him and he would give you living water.”

11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you don’t have a bucket and the well is deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 You aren’t greater than our father Jacob, are you? He gave this well to us, and he drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks from the water that I will give will never be thirsty again. The water that I give will become in those who drink it a spring of water that bubbles up into eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will never be thirsty and will never need to come here to draw water!”


The other day I was surprised by a small gift that caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting the love offering, or the tender note that came along with the sweet surprise.

Looking left and right for the anonymous person, I thought, “Who? What? This is for me?” I was blown away by the incredible gift, given without expectation.

I thought of how God’s gift of love often surprises us! I thought of a the gospel story of a Samaritan woman who was offered a most surprising gift from an unexpected source so long ago.

God’s gift of love and grace is surprising and overwhelming! Like a surprise from someone special, we are often blown away by the unexpected love that comes our way. But unlike any earthly gift, God’s gift is so surprising because it can never be reciprocated. It can never be matched! It can never be measured! The promise of God’s living water will always flow unmatched and beyond measure. 

Think about it. The living water that Jesus spoke of flows through and beyond us without end. We cannot do enough, love enough, live long enough, or be enough, to match God’s unending grace. This well cannot run dry.

So how might we live best in this living water?

Gulp it down! Bask in the waters, and soak it up by hearing God’s Word. Float around in this pool by sitting in prayer or just quietly sitting with God. Cry in the pool and let the waters flow when you are hurting and or in need. Live by the Water of the Spirit by sharing your time on the sabbath, and play in this pool by singing and hearing the joy of God’s unending presence. And when your vessel is full, give God’s living water away by sharing any of those precious loving drops however you can.

By Barbara Carlson

For Pondering & Prayer

Let the living waters flow through you, but first, soak up your fill! Remember that your vessel needs the healing powers of God’s gift of love and grace before you can truly help another. (It is so easy to forget this!) How often do we try to help or support someone, when we are in need of rest or healing? Our vessels are not meant to be dry, so live into this surprising gift by enjoying the living waters for yourself. How can you enjoy the blessings of God’s living water today? How can/do you replenish yourself when you feel dry? How does God’s living water flow through and in you? Finally, how do you share the living water with those you meet in this earthly journey?

Prayer: Holy God, you are the Living Water! Thank you for your unending grace and love. Let your gifts flow through me, replenishing my needs and filling up my soul.  Let me live in the wonders of your healing ways. Restore me, O God, so that I may be a living water vessel for you. Amen.