“Lord I crawled across the barrenness to you with my empty cup uncertain in asking any small drop of refreshment. If only I had known you better I’d have come running with a bucket.”
Despair and despondency will often drive us to extremes, we are compelled to find some kind of help– and we’ll take it wherever. But as human beings we seldom exercise any kind of discernment. Rarely do we ever consider to whom, or at what we are looking to.
Not only are we drawing from poisoned wells, but we seem unable to discern what we will receive. We come with our tin cup, and will stand in line to accept a mingy couple of swallows. Experience has taught us not to get our hopes up too high. After all, the next well will probably be dry.
In contrast, the Spirit of God is a cool, and lush oasis. There is an abundance of fresh water for all who find him. Everything is green, and it is a bit overwhelming to us who have struggled so long, with so little. It seems like we’ve been transported to another world.
But this is what God’s grace and love is like. We’ve searched and scavenged for so long. We have become jaded and cynical by our meager success. Disillusioned by all that life has offered us, we can barely look up to this next possibility. It just seems to be to good to be true, and we don’t want to be taken in again.
Grace is a wonder. God himself that only thing we can rely on. His very character is life-giving and refreshing. He constantly gushes up fresh, sweet water. It is there for us, and he assumes that we will draw on it. Some of us take a lot of it, but some who are hesitant to stretch out their battered tin cups. They receive what they think they just might deserve (or somehow get away with.)
Why is it that we take oh, so long, to come to the real place of real provision? And why we are so vulnerable to the idea of leaving and going to other places? They look so good, but have so little. We struggle so hard, and try to connect with the real, but it only seems that we find just another mirage.
The wonder of it is God considers himself to be the exclusive source of “water that refreshes.” Some of us point and shout. We claim, “exclusiveness!” We consider all those who come to the real fount, to be manipulated into coming. And they are really not handling life well as us who remain parched.
God’s grace is unchanged. There are no tickets to punch, and we can’t generate enough of any kind of righteousness that lets us draw from the well. But the well is a gift– not a reward. It is free, and never a reward for good behavior. We all must come to the water, crippled and thirsty, or we will never come at all.
Dear one, rest in this place of refreshment. Drink your fill. Grace is extravagant, and you can fill your belly. Throw away that battered cup, and get a pail– or a milk can! His presence is all our heart is looking for.
”Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Isaiah 55:1-2, ESV