In biblical times and in developing nations today — life revolves around the water source or THE WELL. I’ve had the joy of watching my friends in Niger dig wells in remote villages and supply this luxurious necessity to the people as they bring them the living water of Jesus. (Read about the Ron & Jerry Childs and Neal & Danette Childs ministry here.) I just returned from Niger where people celebrate clean, drinkable water and do not take it for granted. It is a beautiful thing. Clean wells bring life to the whole community. As polluted water brings stomach sickness, polluted “heart wells” make our life sick.
Our hearts are wells that bring up healing or bitterness.
As Jesus taught us, “out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” It’s our constant challenge to sift and sieve out bitterness and offense to guard our heart’s well. It not only feeds our soul, but either renews or pollutes others.
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45
I love the prophetic picture in Exodus of the bitter waters made sweet.
Trekking out into the wilderness from the amazing Red Sea miracle, the people needed water to continue their journey. Can you image their disappointment when they finally locate the liquid gold and find it’s poisoned and worthless?
23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah.24 And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. Exodus 15: 23-25 ESV
Polluted water makes grumpy and grumbling people.
The Lord shows Moses a “tree” and instructs him to throw it into the middle of the murky, contaminated water. With the tree toss of faith, the water transforms. It becomes sweet and life giving – REDEEMED back to its purpose. We know this “log or tree” is a picture of the cross of Christ. We can stay in our polluted and grumbling state, and let our hearts grow cynical and contaminated — OR we can ask the Lord to show us HIS grace in the middle of our mess.
Throw the cross into your chaos and watch grace transform hurt to healing.
In the aftermath of our U.S. election dismay and disarray, let’s protect our heart from the media and masses that would try to poison our faith. As we protect what comes into our wells — can we also guard what comes OUT! Let’s commit to water & refresh others — not poison their wells with our own hurt and offenses.
Acts 14:2 “…[those] who refused to believe stirred up the other Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.”
Let’s be well diggers and not well poisoners.
Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:25 ESV
Jesus, let your CROSS — your love and sacrifice for all people, make our bitter waters sweet again.
Maybe as we return to our childlike faith, we should remember the old children’s church song…
“I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me…Spring up oh well, and give to me that life abundantly.”