“We didn’t actually hit a major pocket of water, but we went through three stratus layers of water and they should all pool down in the bottom enough to give you plenty of water for your place.”
I still remember the words of the pump man when we dug the well for our home several years ago. Years passed and we seemed to have an abundance of water, but last year during the drought- that still continues to wither the land – our well began to pump air whenever we attempted to pump excess water to irrigate our parched land. We had to learn to be careful and allow the well plenty of time to refill in-between watering sections of trees and gardens and we had to limit the amount of water that we pump from the ground. We had to make some hard choices on what would and would not get water, but as long as the drought continues, the water in the well will continue to pool slowly.
Just as the ground water slowly trickles into my well, the life giving water from the word has often dribbled into my spirit in a tiny stream of time allotted in the midst of a hurried life. Forever in the pursuit of more – or for what many of us perceive to simply be “just barely enough” – we hurry on in an effort to feed, clothe, and shelter our bodies in a world that now demands so much of our time and attention. But in this fast paced pursuit for sustenance, we (or rather I) have forgotten that without water we will perish. We have grown so accustomed to the demands on our time that dehydrate our spirits; we offer ourselves very little grace to slacken the pace.
Grace – this word birthed in love has been a tonic for my heart, but I also wrestle with this gift of unmerited favor. I so desire to accept grace offered, struggle to actually grasp it, forget to give as I have been given, battle with prideful self-righteousness when I do offer it, and rejoice when I am able to freely give and freely receive. However, of all my struggles with grace it seems the hardest is the fight to offer grace to myself – especially when I allow myself the grace to slacken the pace and refill the well of my soul.
However, I know that without water my spirit will wither and so I make hard choices to allow myself time to refill the well within even if it means that I may not feed and clothe the flesh without in the manner that I have grown accustomed. It would seem an easy choice, but I do struggle with this giving of grace to myself; I wrestle to let go of pride and ambition and to recapture a childlike faith and trust in the Lord’s provisions.
I know when I look deep that the drive to work harder than anyone else and to fill every waking moment with constructive activity is rooted in pride, self-sacrifice, and self trust. Perhaps more in pride and self-sacrifice -or a feeling that I must earn all that I gain- than in self-trust. Funny how I think I must earn what I have knowing that I have been freely given so much that I can never earn or repay. As many times as the Lord has provided for my needs and wants from unexpected sources, my faith should never doubt or falter, but over and over I must let go of my faith in the riches of this world and pride in my own strength and abilities and sit quietly in the presence of the one who can give life giving water – who offers a well springing up into everlasting life.