‘But He needed to go through Samaria.’ John 4:4
Jesus didn’t avoid going through Samaria as the other Jewish people would because of their hatred for the Samaritans. No, He ‘must needed’ to go through Samaria. He had to go through there because He had a purpose that took Him on the route that others who felt more pious normally took the longer route just to avoid it. He, in His omniscience, knew that there would be a woman who would come to the well at the peak of day so that no one else would be there, thereby avoiding the ridicule or questions about her reputation of having five husbands, and why the man she was currently with was not her husband. He knew she was searching to fill an empty place in her soul that only His living water could fulfill. He knew He would give her the love and hope that she needed that would cause her to eventually share about her meeting with Jesus with many others which would spark a revival in a city. We may not know as Jesus did all of what will happen in our future, but the Holy Spirit may be prompting us to go out of our way, or go another way so that He can use us or so that He could bless us.
I lived this out yesterday, as I was on a flight and ready to catch up on some work. I was really blessed to be upgraded to first class, so with the extra room and comfort, I was going to give the selfish, silent treatment to whoever sat next to me because I knew I could get a lot accomplished in the few hours. I know you are thinking that I am not the greatest example, but I had so much to do! That was my excuse and then God intervened. The really great thing was that no one was sitting next to me in the seat 3a. Yay, I thought, I wont have to be rude and just totally blow someone off so I could do my work!! I thought that until I heard a conversation up front as there was a man who had sat in the wrong seat and the well meaning flight attendant explained to him that ‘Your seat is in 3a, so since this is the first seat, you would need to count two more rows and that would be 3a.’ At this point, I didn’t care that the empty seat next to me was going to be taken, or that work would be interrupted, because although I am sure she didn’t mean for it to come out sounding a bit rude and like an elementary teacher breaking down simple math to a 3rd grader, it did, so immediately I felt a need to encourage him as I felt compassion for this man. I never want someone to feel embarrassed in public like that. When he sat down, we talked about how it was so easy to mistake that row since on the 737s, the configuration of the first seat of a row is actually labeled row 3. There is no row 1 on 737s and this was a smaller Jet so its configuration was different. I was now engaged in a conversation and no longer worried about my work. That’s where Jesus wanted me to be. Not because this man needed to hear about Jesus. No, he was already saved. This was as much for me as it was for him. Had I blown him off and done my work, I would have missed a most fascinating conversation with a Christian man who happened to be the owner of an incredible piece of property in St. Kitts and was building a multimillion dollar high end resort on some of the most beautiful 135 acres. He also happened to have helped his home church build their recent building after years of them being a portable church. As a person who loves the details of what goes into a property like the one in St. Kitts and as a pastor of a portable church who one day would like to build our own building, that was a conversation that God wanted me to hear. I walked away being blessed and having built a relationship with a new friend. I would have missed it, had I not listened to the Lord prompting me to leave my own agenda and path for the day and engage in this conversation.
I hope you go where the Lord leads you this day, even if it seems like its out of the way. Put away your agenda and ask God for His perfect plan and You never know what will happen and how that will impact you or someone else’s life.