Maybe you’ve felt like this before, been overwhelmed by a situation and not know how to deal with it, so you ‘turn up the radio to drown it out. What I mean by turn up the radio can be distracting yourself from the feelings or emotions by busying yourself with some activity or hobby. Our devices, such as phones, laptops and tablets are really a good area for distraction. There are numerous social media accounts, endless videos to watch, things that take our interest. We can get involved in projects, gardening, hobbies, work, renovations, all good things in themselves, but when used to distract yourself from how you are feeling this can be actually be like turning up the radio to disguise what’s actually going on.
The problem is still there, and it may be getting worse and affecting other areas.
Jesus walks into such areas of our lives. One such example was one hot sunny day and Jesus was tired and exhausted, so he rests in a tree area outside a small village by a well in what was a racially unacceptable area for Jews to travel. He sends his disciples into town in the midday heat to get some food for them. Whilst resting a woman quietly comes to the well and lowers her bucket to gather water.
Jesus says to her ‘Woman, can you please give me a drink?’
Jesus in this case walks right over the traditions of Jewish men not talking to women who were not their wives and also talking to a Samaritan, a half Jewish race hated by the Jews for their racial impurity and customs.
She points out this to Jesus, but He leads her in a conversation that engages her interest. He has a something special to offer. Living water, words that bring hope, hope of better than what she currently has. Then just as the conversation for her is peaking interest Jesus asks her a question that touches on that pain point in her life.
‘Woman go, call your husband and come here’.
‘Sir I have no husband’ the woman replies.
Jesus then points out that she has had five husbands and the man she is now living with is not her husband.
This would have been a painful conversation for her. Whatever had led her to a string of broken relationships was painful enough not to be out collecting water in the heat of the day. All the other women would have done this at the start of the day, but perhaps their chatter or judgement of her left her more comfortable to be doing this by herself in the middle of the day when she didn’t have to see anyone.
So what does she do?
Perhaps what we’ve all done at some point.
She directs the conversation away from the painful part of her life.
She talks about religion.
We all have done this at times. Avoiding a painful situation rather than walk into it. Jesus however through this delivers the promise of living waters. He reveals himself to her as the Messiah and the village comes to faith in Jesus.
When we are faced with those times in which we are looking to avoid how we may be feeling, perhaps that’s an opportunity to talk to Jesus about it.
Are you paying attention to the tension?
When there is a tension, an uneasy feeling, do you ask Jesus what’s going on? Or turn up the radio somewhere in your life to avoid the rattle.
Would you rather have good when great is on offer?
Are you currently settling for good?
Jesus came to give life, set the captives free, to have life in abundance. That doesn’t mean prosperity, that means to be abundant in Christ’s love and fullness. But so often we sell ourselves short because we are one step short of opening up to become healed. We are the only ones who hold those keys. Great is on offer, healing is in the hands of Jesus, we just need to be open to opportunity and courageous enough to take the step.
Too often though we wait until the pain becomes more intolerable than the thought of having it exposed. But like the woman at the well Jesus met, she was blessed, and then the blessing poured out around her as she told everyone about Him.
When we think of renewing the mind we may desire to consider, paying attention to the tension. Identifying those times when we are trying to distract ourselves from an issue or emotion and consider how we are actually feeling, making sure we deal with those things appropriately so we drink from living waters and not our own stagnant ponds.