Sometimes I feel dry and parched. Not only because it’s beginning to feel like winter and my hair is sometimes plagued with static electricity and my drying skin is starting to itch and long for the humidity we had in Florida.
No, sometimes my soul feels dry and parched. You know what I mean? Smack in the middle of my very full life – with children and husband and friends and a jam-packed schedule – my very being is thirsting for more.
I work and I serve and I do more and more and I take care of everyone and everything around me. I am strong and independent and capable. So I reach down deep and draw from my own storehouses of strength and I give more and do more. Until I am even more dry and parched and empty.
Do you do that? I know I’m not the only one. I’m not the only one who draws water from her own hewn-out cistern. Way back in the Old Testament, Jeremiah scolded the Israelites for doing that exact same thing.
My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water; and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Jeremiah 2:13
A cistern was carved out underground in the rocks. The Israelites would collect rain water in this reservoir. Sometimes the rock would crack or break and the water would leak out into the soil surrounding it.
Jeremiah was telling the people that they could go to the spring of living water for refreshment, but they chose instead to dip their bucket into their own broken cistern of stale rainwater.
My reservoir is broken. I can’t hold much. So when I try to reach down deep within myself and pull strength and refreshment and renewal from my own storage of it, I don’t come up with much. And what I do dredge up is usually stale rainwater. And it doesn’t satisfy the deep thirst of my soul.
Jesus promises me that if I come to Him and drink the water He gives me, I will never thirst. He is a spring of living water that will well up within me. (John chapter 4) When I dip my bucket into this living water – when I ask Him to meet my needs, when I read His word, fix my mind on Him, call out to Him for help, sit in His presence – the living water saturates my dry, dusty soul.
Why do I neglect the living water and settle instead for my broken cistern?
I am sure I’ll forget this lesson and need reminding again. But for today, for this moment, I choose to dip my bucket into the spring of living water and let the water rush in filling me up.
Won’t you leave your broken cistern and come with me to the Spring?