Stop Digging Your Own Wells

Early yesterday morning, as I stood in the stillness of the sanctuary of my new church, I prayed a prayer out loud.  I often to talk to God out loud in empty church sanctuaries. 

More than once, throughout my pastoral career, people have showed up at church to set things up and have caught me having a tête–à–tête with the Almighty, which I am sure made them question my sanity. 

Yesterday, my prayer went something like this: 

"God, I'm kind of exhausted.  I've been running on adrenaline for so many days now, I've lost track.  

All of the emotional goodbyes, a cross-country move and lack of sleep have caught up with me.  My tank is empty on one of the biggest days of my life as a pastor. 

And I forgot to eat breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day.   And my coffee is cold.  

Seriously, though, I need you.  I can't do this without you.  If you don't show up... I'm toast, and I can't be toast right now--I just moved across the country with my wife, kids, dog and cats...

So, I need you to take this.  Please.  Amen."

I have to tell you that when the time came, despite all of my weariness, I stood up and preached.  I felt the Spirit of God in that moment.  My own well was empty, but the well of the Spirit had more than enough water.  

I was reading this morning from the prophet Jeremiah, and the LORD is speaking to the prophet about the people of Israel who have decided they didn't really need to rely on God.  

"My people have done two evils," the LORD says to the prophet, "they have turned away from me, the spring of living water.  And they have dug their own wells, which are broken wells and cannot hold water."  (Jeremiah 2:13)

There have been so many times in my life where I thought I could dig my own wells, and do things on my own strength.  I've thought I could shoulder the burdens, carry the weight, do it all on my own, and every single time I would discover that those wells I dug were full of nothing but mud.  

And here's where a lot of us live and breathe... We never really say, "I don't need God."  In fact, I think if pressed we would say just the opposite.  But I think that most often demonstrate that we don't really want to involve God in our decisions, plans, purposes and daily life.  

This past Sunday I realized my own wells were broken, and couldn't hold water.  It was humbling, and wonderful to turn it all over to God and to see what God could do when I asked for the Living Water of his Spirit to fill me.  

May you discover today the wells of living water that are springing up all around you, in you and through you--wells of living water directly from the very Spirit of God.  May you realize that the Creator of the Universe desires to be involved in your life, to permeate you with his love and mercy.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 


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