I have been putting off writing this post, basically because I’ve been searching for water in the midst of an oasis. These last couple of weeks have been oozing with doubt. Doubt that spills into every exposed crack and leaches it’s filth into what little trickle of holy water my cup has left. I should be rejoicing and proclaiming, “My cup runneth over!” I know there is cool, clear water readily available, but I find muddy puddles next to my feet more convenient and it’s easier to just lap it right off the ground like a dog. Yes, doubt halts searches, has no direction, requires no effort, gives way to apathy, and all is done in vain. I know that I should be fighting, battling with a shield of faith, but my vessel is riddled with holes, and the ones I’ve plugged are popping like wine corks. It’s hard to fill up with waters from the well when the leaky pail is empty by the time it reaches the surface.
Recently, I’ve doubted just about everything; my purpose, my calling, my marriage, my performance as a mother, my goals, my dreams, and even the validity of this blog. I just can’t seem to muster up the faith it takes to pull up miraculous amounts of water in a bucket full of holes. What I think God might be telling me, is that sometimes He patches pails and other times he gives you supernatural biceps. My bucket may be beat up with doubt, mistrust, and weariness, and it’s going to leak all the way back up from the depths of His well. He may not patch every hole, every worry, every sorrow, every sadness, every unjust event, but by God, my spiritual forearms will be bulging from the incredible strength and speed! Some of us have a slew of tiny slow fissures, that require some good toned Pilates arms. Some of us have giant gaping cavities that only the guns of Arnold Schwarzenegger could haul up enough water in. Does anyone else whimper and lose hope at the sight of their tiny punctures, knowing full well that there are many out there that face the deepest chasms every day?
What causes the breaks, the cracks, the tears? Many times there is no fault and no reason. Maybe it’s not so much finding the cause of the holes, maybe it’s just knowing who’s arms to run to when you pull your bucket out of the well empty…again. Who said that when I cry out, Jesus would arrive every time with glue and patches like I think He should? Sometimes, instead He hands me a pair of 50 lb. dumbbells and trains me and coaches me so that someday, regardless of what life throws at me, regardless of how big and how many holes have worn through my pail, I know where the water is and I know how to get it to the surface! I doubt often, my faith shrinks, but somehow, a tiny droplet of refreshing, clear water lingers at the bottom of my cup, and the murky puddles that surround me don’t look so appealing anymore. And once again, I begin my trek to the well, with my sorry-looking bucket in tow. I know He will meet me there, just like He met the Samaritan woman at the well in Sychar, and He’ll ask for a drink, and I’ll hold up my bucket for Him to see all the holes, and He’ll answer, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” John 4:10
I guess living water doesn’t require unbroken faith or a doubtless mind. Whether the bucket is holy or unholy, the well is deep, crystal clear, and never runs dry. I know He will be there to collapse into, when my arms are shaky and I can’t hold on any longer. My hope must be in Him, not my bucket.
“…and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19