The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (John 4:9)

WHEN THE MOST POPULAR GIRL in school finally said hello to you, you probably felt a rush of surprise, wondering why she would give you the time of day after snubbing you for so long. Perhaps you had admired her from afar or always wanted to be accepted by her crowd. You might have wondered if she was sincere, thinking there would be no reason for her to reach out to you.

Feelings of inferiority suddenly disappear when someone we hold in high esteem notices us. Society says that everyone has a place, and the pecking order of the classes seems to persist no matter how hard we try to change it. Imagine the surprise of this Samaritan woman when Jesus spoke to her. When He asked her for a cup of water, she was amazed and likely questioned His motives. As a Samaritan and as a woman, she was considered by society not worthy of His attention. Her heart must have raced to hear His words of acceptance and His offer of a new kind of life, even if she didn’t quite understand.

As we read this account, we see that God gives the same offer to anyone who will receive it. We shouldn’t be surprised, and we don’t need to shrink from His extended hand of forgiveness and mercy. He offers us a chance to be renewed. We should take it.

Tell God you are ready for a new start today.

Jan Cline is the author of three devotional books. She is a speaker and founder and director of a Christian writers’ conference in the Northwest.