I never thought God would reveal to me that I am the woman at the well.
But that’s what He did. So I spent the past two weeks thinking, praying, and studying on the woman at the well in order to discover why.
Because I don’t practice sexual immorality like she did. She, in John 4, had gone through five marriages and her current relationship was out of wedlock.
How was I to relate to this woman? How was God calling me out as being just like her?
I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m a sinner. And I’m pretty quick these days at asking God for forgiveness, so it wasn’t a matter of proud negligence… or was it?
The more I reflected on the woman at the well, the more I understood her circumstances. She was alone, rejected, and searching for something she couldn’t find satisfaction in.
Relating To The Woman At The Well
How have I felt like that before? With my anxiety that I’ve suffered with since early childhood.
I can sympathize with being alone in my struggle, rejected by those that couldn’t understand my problem, and searching for relief through external sources like diet, therapy, etc. And among everything else, I finally realized that my anxiety is a sin against God.
You may be quite angry at this; I was also angry at first. But that’s why it’s so important to read on…
I was angry at God for lumping my illness in with the woman at the well’s promiscuity. Angry that He could suggest that I willingly chose to be anxious throughout most of my life.
And especially, I was angry at myself for not realizing it as a sin sooner. So why is it a sin?
Creating His Image
Why is depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness a sin? Because God created us in His likeness and His likeness is good.
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)
And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.” (Luke 18:19)
When Adam and Eve first sinned, humanity broke away from the goodness God created us to be. So Jesus was saying that we are no longer good since we have fallen away from Him.
But why was Jesus indicating that He Himself is not good? Because even though He is without sin, He was born into generational sin that began during the Fall.
And He could only be a suitable sacrifice for our sins by being subjected to temptation. So He humbled Himself by being born human and essentially, not good.
Using Evil Spirits
After the Fall, the devil and the other fallen angels ruled over us with fear, despair, discouragement, lust, greed, and so on. But God, being Sovereign over all things, is able to still use those evil spirits for His will and goodness.
He sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Schechem (Judges 9:22). He also sent a tormenting spirit to King Saul (1 Samuel 16:14).
But not only can He use evil spirits, He can also take them away. Specifically, when Jesus cast out the demon Legion from a man in Mark 5:9.
Does this mean that God is giving anxiety to us? No, it means that God has allowed us to fall under temptation in order to test us.
Why would He want to do that? Doesn’t He love us??
Relying On Him
He does love us, but He also wants us to rely upon Him in our weakness. After fasting for forty days and nights in the wilderness, Jesus was tempted by Satan.
But unlike me, Jesus turned to God’s Word to fight the devil. He didn’t rely on Himself for strength, but on God’s Truth in Scripture.
And in the same manner everyday, we are tempted. To see if we will cling to what is good and righteous and true, or to believe in lies and deception.
I started believing in the lies since about nine-years-old. If I wasn’t successful, I believed I wasn’t worthy; if I was successful, I wasn’t worthy enough.
I started to take those thoughts of inadequacy and make them a part of my being. He allowed it all to unfold, even with me praying many times to take the fear and anxiety away.
I experienced panic attacks, loss of bodily function, and tunnel vision. The devil picked me out of the flock, and started to destroy me with fears, doubts, and discouragements.
Giving It All Up
Until one day, in my twenties, I almost committed suicide. It was there, on the bathroom floor, that I realized that I wasn’t strong enough to keep going.
I fully understood what the word weary meant. And the only way I was going to survive was by Divine intervention.
And He did intervene… when I finally asked Him to. He picked me back up and led me on a path that has been completely opposite of the life I had been living before.
I still, however, experience extreme anxiety. But one day God said to me, “Meet me at the well.”
I had no idea what He meant. With my eyes closed from exhaustion, He repeated those words again.
Locating The Well
So I envisioned meeting Him at a well, but there was no well where I found Jesus waiting for me. It was a dry, arid place within my mind and He said, “Start digging.”
I got down on my hands and knees and started digging for a long time. Eventually, I reached water and it was then that I realized what it all meant.
I can dig and dig all day long, but the only One who can supply the water is God. I have been digging for over twenty years with no water in sight until now.
A long time ago, I had resolved that God wasn’t going to do anything about my anxiety, so I stopped asking for His help and started going it alone. Just as the woman at the well must have resolved to always living her life in sin and rejection.
Until one day Jesus, met her at the well and revealed to her that He is the Messiah. A promiscuous woman, rejected and alone, was the first to receive His divine declaration.
He didn’t even do this with His own chosen people, the Jews. God, especially, loves those that are cast out and tormented by sin.
And He shares with all of us the good news that we are free from sin through Jesus Christ. So what am I to do about my anxiety?
Like the woman at the well, it must have taken her some time to break from her recurring sin. But despite it all, I am not without hope.
Hope that God can take away the years of trauma I’ve stored up in my being, years of doubt in His power, and years of weariness at my going it alone. I believe, this time, that I’m not digging in vain; one day, I will proclaim my story of redemption to you all!
If you struggle with anxiety as well, I highly recommend Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyer. It will provide you with some great Scriptures and Truths to help you on your journey of healing!
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Post Question: If you struggle with anxiety or any mental illness, have you lost hope in Him? Comment below!