“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow streams of living water.’” (John 7:37-38)
I’m here, Lord. I’m thirsty. I’m parched. I want this drink. I want these living waters to flow from within me. But I’m in a dry and weary land. I’m in a wilderness. I’m like the deer panting for the stream.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:28,29)
I’m here, Jesus. I’m ready for rest. I want to learn from you and trade burdens with you.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matt. 5:6)
I’m so hungry, Lord. Actually, I’m starving. I want to be filled. The emptiness, the longing, the despair, the hunger, the aching pain…it’s almost unbearable. Please help, Lord.
“In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)
I want this fullness of joy, these pleasures forevermore. And in this fight for joy I daily cry out, “Why are you downcast, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.1”
I’m here in the waiting. I know it’s a season of waiting. I know I’m in the waiting room of silence. I also know – All his words are true. His ways are true. He is kind in all His works and loving toward all He has made2. His works are wonderful, I know that full well3.
He WILL respond. He WILL answer me. HE WILL lift up my head and fill me with joy in His presence. He WILL comfort me, fill me, satisfy me. And I know He will….I know that I know that I know that I know. I have deep unshakeable assurance that HE IS true and His words are true. Always. Whether I feel it or not. Whether I see it or not. Whether I think I’m experiencing it or not.
He does not forget me, and He never will. He will never leave me nor forsake me4.
I know He will comfort. I know He will pour out. I know there’s a deep deep well down there, and I’m going to keep digging until I get to it. I’m going to keep seeking and keep laying my hand to the plow.
I know He loves me when I don’t feel it…but I also trust one day soon, I’ll feel it. I know He’s near, even when I can’t tell. I’m drawing near to Him, and I know He’s holding up His end of the bargain to draw near to me5.
Are the streams flowing out of me? I sure hope so. I pray that even amidst my mess, amidst the pain, that His rivers of living water would flow onto others, whether I’m aware of it or not. Especially to my children, my neighbors, my church, my community. May my feeble attempts somehow be carried by the Spirit. May I have eyes to see those around me who are thirsty, in need of a drink. May the waters flow, even though to me it may seem like tiny drips of water wrung from a baby washcloth. He is able to make all grace abound.
Digging, digging, digging for that deep water. Daily digging in. So thankful for His word. So thankful for songs of praise He has given me in the night. The perfect song that pops up on my Spotify playlist. The Youtube playlist that is carrying me through. The Psalms which have become my songs, my prayers. Friends that are praying for me and with me, weeping with me, reminding me of Truth. Tiny glimmers of hope that peek through like light through shattered glass. I’d rather be shattered and be put back together by Him, than walk through this life fragile, guarding myself against hurt, pain. I see more clearly that my favorite Psalm (119) was forged in the fires of affliction.
Shatter this darkness. Break the chains. Melt away the dross and impurities that don’t bring you glory. Prune, though it be painful. Wound me, that you may heal. I don’t want band-aids over bullet wounds. I want your skilled Surgeon hands in here, in these deep places, making all things new and right. You will fulfill your purpose for me6. You began this good work in me and you will carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus7.
And while I feel so weak, there is a strength rising. I refuse to sit and cradle my wounds. They’re there. They’re raw, they’re exposed. I can’t heal them and I’m done trying. I’m going to keep bringing them to Jesus, knowing that He WILL heal. He will bind up. He will fulfill His purpose for me. And instead of looking inward and magnifying my wounds, I’m determined to look outward and meet the needs that are around me. Because while I feel empty, there’s actually still fullness there; there’s still plenty to pour out, even when I don’t feel it. There are new moms that need meals. There’s the grieving mother who needs prayer and support consistently, and gifts purchased from her Amazon wishlist to bring her small bits of comfort and joy. There are millions of persecuted Christians driven from their homes who need basic supplies. There are countless hurricane victims in Lousiana. There’s the gentleman on the corner who’s down on his luck and may need an encouraging smile, a conversation, and perhaps a lunch with a willing stranger. Everywhere I look there’s brokenness; far be it from me to stay silent, to sit idly by. I can’t do everything but I can do SOMETHING, and I must do something.
When Jesus spoke those words in the Temple, he didn’t mumble it to a few nearby who were lucky enough to hear. He didn’t even just sit there and say it somewhat loudly. He stood up and CRIED OUT. I can see it. I can feel it deep in my soul, that He declared from the depths of His soul, with everything in Him, “For He who believes in me…streams of living water will flow from within Him.” STREAMS of living water. Yes, Lord.
I’ve come to drink, and these waters are going to flow.
- 1 Psalm 42:5
- 2 Psalm 145:9,13,17
- 3 Psalm 139:14b
- 4 Joshua 1:5, Heb 13:5
- 5 James 4:8
- 6 Psalm 57:2, 138:8
- 7 Phil. 1:6