Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Broken Cisterns, Living Water

Beautiful Longwood Gardens, the Bell Tower Pool
Close up of the Waterfall
The Spring that is the Water Source for the Waterfall and Pool
 I love water. I'm a swimmer, for crying out loud! Plus, the sound of water is to me one of the most soothing sounds. Ocean waves crashing on the shore. Fountains splashing merrily. Rain falling. I love the sound of water.

(Well, except for when it signals that the dish rinsing that should have taken about 5 minutes is taking 30, that sound of water running is neither soothing or inspiring.)

Regardless, the year is a quarter through, which means, I'm a quarter of the way through my Bible reading. And I got to start reading Jeremiah again. Unlike Ezekiel, Jeremiah is one of my favorite prophets.

And, lo and behold, the book starts out with one of my favorite topics...running water. God is giving Jeremiah a message for His soon to be judged people. In case the Israelites were confused about what they had done that was deserving of God's judgement, He was letting them know very clearly.

My people have committed two evils...(Jeremiah 2:13)

This is not a political statement.
I thought it was disappointing that this icon,
the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial was empty. Drained.
I have read about it, seen pictures of it, and even seen it in movies.
No water for our visit last summer.
But I used this picture because from all of our travels,
it is the only one I have that something which should have water is empty.

A two pronged offense. Have you ever found yourself in the same boat? I have.

Water is a vital component of human existence. It is said that under normal circumstances a human can survive for a maximum of one week without water. But, it takes much less than one week to start getting dehydrated. A good run and a good sweat, with no replenishing fluids, and things start going wacky.

Spiritually, things degenerate into dehydration just as fast. We get dry. Parched. Thirsty.

I have been thinking and writing a lot lately about refreshment and retreat and renewal. About being alone in order to feed the soul.

The thing is, it is not simply enough to retreat. To try to feed and water our own souls from our own resources. We have to be hooked up to the right source.

Reading great books and being purposeful and creative is phenomenal. Being alone is necessary. Stepping back from doing for the sake of doing is key.

But, I don't want to make the two mistakes Israel made. Turning away from God, and coming up with my own faulty solutions.

Woman are givers. If we aren't giving from our reservoir in Christ, we are going to get to our reservoir and find it empty. We will have nothing to give. All our resources will have drained out. The more we are exerting ourselves, the more we need to be drinking. Physical exertion+too busy to drink=dehydration.

My goal is to be proactive once again. Purposeful once again. Time with God first. Every day. In the quiet times I have set aside for myself, dig into Scripture. Let the words of God feed my soul. Pour out my heart to Him. And then share from those resources which the Spring of Living Waters supplies.

The other thing about a spring or fountain is that it is always renewing. It has too. Otherwise it becomes stagnant and full of gunk. Obviously God never becomes stagnant and full of gunk.

But, if I don't daily renew and refresh, from my Spring, I become stagnant, and full of the gunk of sin and the world. I can't rely on last week's supply or even yesterday's. What's left there to give is not really worth giving. God's presence is the place to go for pure water to quench my thirst.

And he showed me a pure river of Water of Life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God, and of the Lamb...Let him who is thirsty, come. And whosoever will, let him take of the Water of Life freely. (Revelation 22:1, 17)

How do you set aside time daily to spend with the Fountain of Living Waters? In life, are you trying to give from your own stagnant or dry cistern, or are you finding continual renewal in God?