The Failure Factor

It wasn’t the first time it happened, but it still took me by surprise. That jolt I received when I heard my phone ring in the wee hours of the morning. The alarming interruption to a peaceful slumber. I sat up in bed only to realize there wasn’t actually a phone ringing at all.

Either it was a dream…or it was God.

When I get such a wake up call, I like to think it’s God. Perhaps He desires for me to spend some extra prayer time with Him. Or simply give me a few hours head start to a busy day. But my favorite rationalization for the wake up call is the need to take note of the time on my digital clock. So often I have found that the numbers correspond to a Bible verse. One that God knows will be especially significant.

When I glanced at the clock after being woken by the sound of my cell phone it was 4:28 a.m. Immediately I recalled the story of the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, one of my favorite chapters in the whole Bible! What special message did God have for me in John 4:28?

   Leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” John 4:28-29

The conversation between the Samaritan woman and Jesus is one of the longest recorded conversations in the Bible. It begins in John 4:7 and continues through verse 26, lasting less than two minutes! (Yes, I timed myself as I read aloud.) In less than two short minutes with Jesus, the Samaritan woman was prepared to walk away from her water jar. Redeemed and ready to leave her past behind. No longer needing her jar because she had been filled with Jesus’ spring of living water, leading to eternal life (verse 14).

It took less than two short minutes for the Samaritan woman to believe. To leave her jar and go tell others about the man. The Messiah.

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony. “ He told me everything I ever did.” John 4:39

The woman acted as an apostle. She went to non-believers and shared her story of salvation. They believed because of her testimony. The simple story of her encounter with Jesus.

Sharing the story of how Jesus pursued me, as He did the Samaritan woman at the well, comes easily. I can joyfully confess how He pulled me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. (Psalm 40:2) Yes, I can do that…when speaking to another believer.

However, with all the nudging I’ve been receiving from the Holy Spirit lately to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19), I’ve had to question my apprehension about speaking to a non-believer about Jesus.

Greg Laurie is the author of Tell Someone - You Can Share The Good News. On page 10 he writes, “ When it comes to sharing the gospel, it seems we plan for failure far more often than success. Maybe that’s why statistics indicate that 95% of all Christians have never led another to Christ.”

Yes, failure is indeed a factor. What if the person rejects what I have to say or asks me a question I can’t answer?

God wakes me up at 4:28 a.m. Sends me to John 4:28 to read about the Samaritan woman. A woman who went to tell others about Christ… only minutes after meeting Him.

Is God showing me just how simple it is?

She believed. She went. She told her story.


I have written other posts about numbers on the digital clock. If interested, check out: or








Tags: apostle, John 4:28-29, John 4:39, leading others to Christ, Matthew 28:19, significance of numbers on a clock, Tell Someone, The Samaritan woman

3 responses to “The Failure Factor

  1. Love the story of the Samaritan woman. Love this post Brenda. (And yes, I tend to look at my digital clock too in the middle of the night. How fun it is to realize God is waking us up with a special word! At least, I always think so.)


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