Empowered to Overcome Your Past

She was a Samaritan woman

Shunned by the Jews who thought her people were no better than dogs, half breeds separated from God’s grace
Shunned by a town who knew her past

She does not gather with the women in the cool of the morning to draw water from Jacob’s well

She does not want to feel the weight of her shame as the women turn their backs to her, do not speak to her, do not include her in their gossip whispers

She is the gossip

Instead she comes to the well in the heat of the day

She will endure the heat if it means she will not have to deal with those women and their side-eye glances

She approaches the well and is startled to see a man seated there

When he speaks, she knows he is a Jew

No self-respecting man will talk to a woman in public

No self- respecting Jewish man will speak to a Samaritan, especially a Samaritan woman

But speak to her he does


If he knows her history perhaps there may be another reason as to why he is interested in her


This man is different

When he recounts her history to her, she does not feel condemned

She feels free, no longer tethered to guilt and shame

In that moment, she realizes she has been freed to tell a new story

Of acceptance and love, refreshing and revitalization

Her thirst for hope is quenched by His living waters

This man who confronted her in her past

Has released her to a different future

No longer concerned about a natural need

She leaves her water pot behind

A symbol, perhaps, of leaving her past behind

She runs to tell a town that either used her

Or refused her

She runs to tell them

“Come see a man”

Who knew my past but did not twist it to his advantage

A man who did not leave me snared in the condemnation of my past

A man who has given me what no man has or could ever give me


-A future and a hope-



Like this Samaritan woman, we all have a history

Sometimes people will remind us of that history

Or we will remind ourselves by revisiting regrets born out of our history

But Jesus has a way of redirecting our paths

And like the Samaritan woman, because of a chance encounter with the Messiah,

Which really wasn’t chance at all,

Our story past, like her story past, is now His Story

Of redemption and grace, love and mercy

Her story/our story of brokenness and shame is past

It is no longer a burden that weighs her or us down

As Jesus set this woman free

He has set us free

Empowered to proclaim to everyone

“Come see a man!”


Dr. Tony Evans writes: “The past can be … another distraction from moving forward in God’s purpose, [but] we are not to allow our yesterdays to determine our tomorrow's.”


Philippians 3:12-14

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.


Sisters, Water Walking Women (and men), we press, we earnestly strain, we move forward, empowered in the knowledge that God loved us in our past; Jesus redeemed us from our past and the Holy Spirit empowers us to overcome our past.


Empowered to overcome our past, we leave it behind to run into a future full of promise and hope.

Where you were yesterday is no indicator of where God can take you today!!!