Between one set of miracles and another, the Bible says, “Now Jesus had to go through Samaria” (John 4:14). And so he was on his way, from Judah to Galilee, passing through the land of Samaria – an unwelcome place. The Samaritans were considered half-breeds, as they were the offspring of Jews and Gentiles. They lacked the heritage and reputation of the Jewish people. Samaria was the last place a Jew would want to go.
But now, “Jesus had to go through Samaria.”
Jesus had to go through Samaria? Actually, no. He didn’t. Alternative routes were available. First century Jews didn’t need Google Maps to navigate their way around Samaria. And that’s exactly what they usually did – they went around Samaria, rather than through Samaria.
Here’s the deal. Jesus had to go through Samaria, not because the map said so, but because the Father said so.
That’s what the Father often does. When easier routes are available, he directs us through Samaria. Life would be so much easier for you as an addict or wounded spouse if God would just take you around the pain that is represented by Samaria. But more often than not, God takes us through the hard times, rather than around them.
And we are better because of it.
Recovery Step: Don’t ask for a pathway that is equal to your strength. Ask for strength that is equal to your pathway.