Your Well is Getting Low (and Dirty)

Your Well is Getting Low (and Dirty)
September 24, 2014

"Nothing in this world will satisfy
Jesus you're the cup that won't run dry." - Israel Houghton (Your Presence Is Heaven)

I grew up in southeastern Michigan. From the back deck at my parents' house you could see miles and miles of farm land (especially after harvest season). I am a country boy through and through.

My family didn't do any farming except for occasionally helping our farmer friends nearby. But, there were plenty of chores to be done around the house. Mowing the lawn, planting and weeding the garden, cutting and hauling wood, and plenty of other little jobs were the norm on weekends and during the summer.

I remember one particularly dirty (and fun) job that my brothers and I helped my dad with; cleaning the cistern. For those of you who are unfamiliar, a cistern is similar to a well, except we had to regularly refill it. And, for us, the cistern was used for everything but drinking water (we put bleach in it). In a family of eight, that is a LOT of water. Rainwater could not keep up with us. So, my dad had to drive his Chevy S-10 in to town, pulling a trailer with a large tank to fill it up at the town water treatment plant. And then he had to pull the tank full of water home to fill up the cistern. Sometimes it required a couple trips. It was quite an involved process.

Anyway, the cistern had to be cleaned a few times throughout the years. It was quite a job. The large underground tank had to be completely emptied, then scrubbed, then rinsed (and emptied again), and then refilled with clean water. It was kinda fun for us boys, climbing down inside the cistern, finding frogs, and getting dirty.

Today, as I think about this childhood memory, I am reminded of how important it is for us to allow Jesus to keep our "cisterns" clean and filled.

It is far too common for us to allow our wells to get low and run dry. When you neglect your well, your source of healthy spiritual life, you disconnect from that source of "living water".

Jesus replied,  “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again.    But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” - John 4:13-14

Too often we try to fill ourselves up with "non-living water". There are some great teachings out there. Helpful information. Empowering blogs, articles, TED talks, and inspirational music. But, NOTHING is truly life-giving except spending time in the presence of God.

Furthermore, when we spend more and more time with Jesus, it isn't long before we begin to change. All of the gunk that builds up in our "cisterns" cannot just be left alone. Sanctification happens when we allow the Word of God to wash over us. After all, what good is it to put clean water in a dirty well?

What a process. It can be overwhelming!

Thankfully, it is not by our own strength that we are made clean. Yes, it requires us to remove the heavy concrete lid that covers the old cistern buried deep inside. However, it is Jesus who gently comes in and actually does the dirty work.

It takes real vulnerability. It takes true surrender. It requires humble submission. But the reward is a well that is more like a spring that is fresh and bubbling with eternal life.