Monday, February 7, 2011
Preacher got me thinking yesterday. Thinkin' hard.
There was a verse in his message that struck a nerve. Ouch. Here it is:
"For my people have done two evil things: They have forsaken me-the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all." Found in the book of Jeremiah. Chapter 2, verse 13.
Now this verse mentions two evil things the people did. First they chose to forsake. Let's look at the word. It means nothing, if it means nothing...to you. Webster defines it "to renounce or turn away from entirely". Abandon. To leave someone behind.
The second evil the people did was to build cracked cisterns for themselves.
What am I trying to drive home with this? I don't know. But it got me thinking and wondering, churning, tossing, turning.
The people CHOSE to turn away from a fresh fountain of water. One that gave full restoration. Filled every nook and cranny in their heart. Gave hope, peace, and contentment. A flowing, crisp cool fountain. And it was freely given. Free.
In turning away, they sought to build something better. A cistern. And a cracked one to boot. Webster defines a cistern as "an artificial reservoir for storing water or other liquids". Anyone who has seen water stored for very long knows that soon enough, it becomes an "other liquid". Lukewarm, slimy, stagnate. If it slowly leaks away, the only thing left is sludge. A mess to be cleaned. Another cistern to be built.
In my life, I have built many cisterns. They are not just cracked, in fact, some are upside down and won't even hold water. Food, shopping, wanting things I cannot have, or afford. Living up to an ideal. Blowing off things I should be doing. All in an effort to replace something I need so desperately. Remember? The FREE water?
So why do I walk right past the source of that water every day, admire its beauty, then drink from my own cistern?
Why do I choose to abandon the love freely given to me by my Creator, who is waiting to make me whole? Chocolate has not made me whole. Friends have not made me whole. Love has not made me whole. Possessions will NEVER make me whole.
What an amazing thing we do in day to day life. We forget. Forget God. Then we think we can do it ourselves. That we can do our best and be happy. And we are angry with Him when our efforts don't fill that blasted hole. Its' still there! All that work, all that "fixing", counseling, covering, and crying-and it's still there.
Throughout my life, God has placed signs. Not obvious signs like a message in the clouds, or a column of smoke. More like road signs. Sometimes I can't register what they read until I have driven down the road a bit.
Signs like these:
"A Great Grandmother who prayed for me"
"A Grandmother who prayed with me"
"A friend who leaned on God in her suffering"
"A hymn that popped into my mind"
"A stranger who shared a verse with me"
"A letter arriving just in time"
"A time of not understanding/knowing everything"
Its time to turn away from broken cisterns. There is a love ready to flow freely within, uncontainable, bursting forth. I want to be someone's "road sign" along the way.
Do you have any cisterns in your life?