Looking for love in all the wrong places

loveinwrong place

by Valrelyn Parson

One of our greatest desires is to be loved. It matters not if we are male or female, we seek love we want to be love.  Whitney Houston sister in law said,“ I saw her chasing a dream, you know looking for love in all the wrong places.”   We all want love. What exactly is the wrong place?  There was a popular song back in the 1980 hit song for the movie “Urban Cowboy.”

Here are the Lyrics:

Lookin’ for love

I’ve spent a lifetime looking for you
Single bars and good time lovers, never true
Playing a fools game, hoping to win
Telling those sweet lies and losing again.

I was looking for love in all the wrong places
Looking for love in too many faces
Searching your eyes, looking for traces
Of what.. I’m dreaming of…
Hopin’ to find a friend and a lover
God bless the day I discover
Another heart, lookin’ for love

When I was alone then, no love in sight
And I did everything I could to get me through the night
Don’t know where it started or where it might end
I turn to a stranger, just like a friend

I was looking for love in all the wrong places
Looking for love in too many faces
Searching your eyes, looking for traces
Of what.. I’m dreaming of…
Hopin’ to find a friend and a lover
God bless the day I discover
Another heart, lookin’ for love

You came a’knocking at my heart’s door..
You’re everything I’ve been looking for..

No more looking for love in all the wrong places
Looking for love in too many faces
Searching your eyes, looking for traces
Of what.. I’m dreaming of…
Now that I found a friend and a lover
God bless the day I discover
You, oh you, lookin’ for love

In all the wrong places
Looking for love in too many faces
Searching your eyes, looking for traces
Of what.. I’m dreaming of…
Now that I found a friend and a lover
God bless the day I discover
You, oh you, lookin’ for love

When you are looking for love there are not right or wrong places in your mind.  I think of the woman at the well. “Jesus said,“ You have had 5 husbands and the one you are now with is not your husband.”   No one knows the reason why she had 5, husbands we can only guess.  Maybe she was looking for love , and found it in all the wrong places, or maybe she married 5 of the wrong men.  Lets go back to the beginning of the story

Jesus met a woman at Jacobs well, when Jacob first met Rachel, the Jews and Samaritans were one people.  They shared a common faith, a common heritage and a common devotion to God, before they went their separate ways.

‘A woman’s heart should be so close to God that a man should have to chase Him to find her.’ C. S. Lewis

The Samaritan woman I am sure had a reputation, what kind of woman would be married five times, and be living with another man that is not even her husband. I am sure was the source of every conversation.  She deliberately went to the well in the heat of the day to avoid stares and condemnation and gossip. She had made a name for herself in her quest for love.  There was something about her that attract men.  I don’t know is what happened in her various relationships are why they failed; but she must have felt pretty alone. If we all think back we may recall a relationship that has caused us to shut ourselves off from friends or family to avoid their question are disapproval.  She may have had a difficult life, and divorces are not proof of sin.  She is not a woman of great sin but of great sadness. She lived a hard life.

We don’t know her name or her age, but according to the scripture her conversation with Jesus it the longest one recorded. Jewish men didn’t speak to women in public, even their wives. For a rabbi this would be have been and even greater restriction. Women were not publicly taught the law.   But Jesus never treated women in the way expected by his culture. Jesus talked to them, Jesus taught them. He expected and trusted them to spread the good news. Jesus told stories using them as his characters. Jesus gave an illustrations of what God was like using the image of a woman searching for the lost coin. Jesus acted and spoke as if women and men were both equal in God and his eyes.

Its was high noon on a hot day, and Jesus was tired from traveling. Therefore,  Jesus choose a spot to rest. A woman appeared  with a clay Jar. Jesus makes a simple request “ Will you give me a drink of water.”  The Samaritan woman reminded Jesus by saying “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman.” How can you ask me for a drink? Jesus answered her , “ if you knew the gift of God , and who is that is saying to you,  “ Give me a drink of water” you would have asked him he would have given you living water.”  Jesus told her everyone who drinks that water will be thirsty again” (John 4:13). Then Jesus made a bold promise: “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst” (John 4:14). In one sentence he shifted from everyday life to everlasting life.

Jesus knew he had her attention but she was stubborn. Was she ready for that leap of faith?  She wanted whatever he was offering, but only so she could avoid returning to the well for water. If we are honest, we are all like this some point in our lives.  We are eager to satisfy our physical desires, we overlook our spiritual needs.

The Samaritan woman said, “ You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep.”   Jesus told her, “Go, call your husband and come back” (John 4:16). The Samaritan woman stated, “I have no husband” (John 4:17),  You are right in saying “ I have no husband;” for you have had five and the one have now is not your husband. Jesus affirmed her answer, then gently exposed her sin. Five marriages didn’t make her a sinner. Due to warfare, famine, disease, and injury, men in those days dropped like flies. A widow became either a beggar, a prostitute, or another man’s wife. Each time, this Samaritan woman had chosen the best option.

The Samaritan woman sharing her bed with a sixth man who was not her husband, Which made it  a sin. When you hear about the woman at the well you think of somebody who has had several husbands and is currently shacking with another man. You think of a woman who doesn’t know God. A woman who goes from man to man is called a whore. This woman has joined the reign of many fallen women in their time. We don’t know her story or her pain. Jesus saw her pain he saw her as redeemable, and he saw her as worthy.  He loved her in spite of her sin.

Jesus talked to the woman about bringing her the living water. He was talking about life, real life, life in all its abundance, eternal life and life in the spirit. Many of us who listen to the story today are still waiting on Jesus to come, We are asking the question, “ When are you going to show up?” Could it be that why you were so distracted that you weren’t looking. Jesus gave the Samaritan woman something to quench her thirst. By telling her everything she had done was act of understanding he gave her living water and forgiveness.

She tried to change the subject , she talked about worship, and the differences between the Jews and the Samaritans .  Before any of us knew God we tried too steer away from the topic, it was too scary and too personal. She did her best to shut Jesus up. “ When the Messiah comes he will explain everything to us..  She was even more shocked when Jesus said “ I who speak to you am he.”

The woman then left her jar at the well, I think she ran back to tell everyone about Jesus. She had finally met someone who knew the pain she carried all her life, someone who understood her.  In Jesus she found someone who understood her and if he understood her God would understand her too. She was no longer a prisioner to her sin or her pain. God knew and she was set free.

The woman now tells her Samaritan townspeople, “Come and see someone who told me everything I ever did.” In other words, she is saying, he saw into my heart and spoke to my heart, he knows where I have been and where I am at in my life with God. So she says to the townspeople, “Could this not be the Messiah?” The story then tells us that through Jesus’ “spoken word” many Samaritans came to faith.

What was this “spoken word” of Jesus? What did the Samaritans come to believe in? Jesus knew the Samaritan woman’s heart and knows our heart. Like the Samaritan woman, we have nothing to fear. All Jesus needs is our courage, sincerity, and openness to the truth. Jesus can work with us as he did with the Samaritan woman to reveal the truth about God. Only when we know the truth about God can we decide if we find God completely lovable. Only if we find the truth about God completely lovable, will we be able to start fully worshiping God in spirit and truth.

Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

“Come onto me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”  We know these words.  These words are grafted deep into our souls. Like the lady at the well God can quench our thirst, If we seek him with and open heart, and open spirit. We too can find peace that we have never known and we will never be thirsty.

VAL

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