The mouth of the cave.

thAR7A03G8

Therefore, brothers, be patient until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the Lord’s coming is near. James 5:7-8

One story I go to again and again is Elijah’s. And every time I read about this man’s wilderness trek to Horeb, I’m overwhelmed by a tender and merciful God. About a month ago, Elijah was brought to mind once more through a Beth Moore study (James: Mercy Triumphs). Beth touched on what happened before the desert journey… when God worked through Elijah, a man with a nature just like ours, in a miraculous way. When he prayed for no rain, it didn’t do so for three years and six months. But then, when he prayed for the rain to come, the skies broke open and watered the land. Beth highlighted his faith.

Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a rainstorm.” But when Elijah said this, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Yet, he promised a downpour. He went up a mountain and bowed to the ground sending his servant off to check the horizon. Nothing. Seven times he sent his servant, finally to hear the report, “There’s a cloud as small as a man’s hand coming from the sea.” And so from this teeny, tiny cloud, Elijah gave warning, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Get your chariot ready and go down so the rain doesn’t stop you.'” What faith he displayed in forecasting a rainstorm when seeing only a tuft of cloud. Sure enough, after a while, the sky grew dark with clouds and wind, and there was a downpour. 1 Kings 18:46 says, “The power of the LORD was on Elijah…”

So, what happened? How could one who encountered God in such a way shrink back in fear? Because the next chapter shows Elijah wandering through Beer-sheba (desert). One verse describes Elijah running for his life, and yet another records Elijah’s request for God to take his life. “I have had enough! LORD, take my life.” That’s when he lay down to sleep. Elijah literally had a mountaintop experience with God, but slid down to the backside of the desert. And this is what moves me every time. An angel touched him and encouraged him. “Get up and eat.” A loaf of bread and a jug of water was provided for sustenance. Afterward, he lay back down. Again, the angel touched him saying, “Get up and eat, or the journey will be too much for you.” And so, after eating and drinking the second time, he was strengthened to walk for 40 days and 40 nights through the desert. To Horeb. The mountain of God. That’s where Elijah camped out in a cave. And it was there, he encountered God.

Now, tone is everything. I don’t know how God sounded when He called out to Elijah but in my ear, I hear tenderness. I hear compassion and mercy. I hear care as He whispers, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” And when Elijah vented, raging about his circumstances and the struggle, God let him. And when he railed about how alone he felt, God listened. But then, He simply said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the LORD’s presence.”

At that moment, the Lord passed by. A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Suddenly, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  1 Kings 19:11-13

Twice God asked Elijah, “What are you doing here?” It touches me for God wasn’t harsh. Rather, He gently reminded His servant of unfinished business through a softly spoken question. When Elijah heard Him, he roused and stood at the mouth of the cave. But he didn’t yet step out. It was as if he had one foot in, one foot out. And before stepping out, he voiced his complaint one more time. But God simply gave instructions. He said, “Go and return by the way you came to the Wilderness of Damascas.” Apparently, Elijah had spent enough time on the mountain. He had work to do, for he had rested, refueled, and was strengthened. After he encountered the living God, it was time to journey onward.

I think about Elijah a lot. Because I’m in awe that he could slip away… that he could stumble… that he could falter… that he could fear. But as the book of James says, he was a man with a nature like ours. He was only human. And when it comes down to it, I think Elijah was just empty. I don’t think he had in him what he needed to carry on. He had depleted his storehouse of energy and faith. And so, he had a layover in his journey. A time to rest and replenish. This is how I feel sometimes.

At times, I just need to quit what I’m doing. I make frequent stops for the bread of life and living waters, which are necessary for sustaining life in a barren land. However, after filling my horn with oil, I’m supposed to get up and go. I cannot tarry at the mouth of the cave. And today, I think this is where I am. I tremble at the mouth of the cave for I fear leaving the place where I last encountered God. But that’s where the walk of faith comes in. As Beth Moore said, it’s the law of the harvest. It’s easy to rely on God when He’s right there in your midst and you marvel as He rains down on your life. It’s those other times, the dry times between the rains, where faith gets exercised. And like Elijah needed faith to step out of that cave, I need it, too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA              OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is Molly, my little cave dweller. I’ve written about her before as I contrasted the difference between her and my other kitty, Otis, who is a fearless traveler. But here lately, I’ve noticed a change in Molly. For where she once peered out of the mouth of her cave, our doorway, she now wants to go beyond the entrance. At first, she was timid and had to be near me. Not only that, I had to leave the door open. If it was closed, she ran back and stood there till I opened it. She’d scurry past me as she ran out of sight. But inevitably, she’d come back to the door so she could peer out again. And we’d do the routine all over again. Eventually, I began to leave the door open so she’d have a sense of security. But you know what, it was just this past week or so that she seemed to no longer need that security. I’ve closed the door and she doesn’t fret. Not only that, she ventures out of my line of sight. She doesn’t need to see me anymore to feel safe. Confidence dispels her fear. And in this, I rejoice. Yes, Molly may be well along in years (she’s fifteen), but her life’s not over yet. And as old as she is, she is just now learning to step out in faith.

Truth is, the mouth of Molly’s cave looks just like mine. And God already called out to the cave dweller that I am… once, twice, three times, or more. I heard His tender whisper over two years ago when He said, “What are you doing here, Pam?” But I tarried. See, the mouth of the cave is comfortable, one foot in and one foot out. It’s so easy to step back into my nest of security if I need to. But I hear Him anew, “What are you doing here…” And His question prompts me to rise for I know He bids me, “Get up! Go!” He’s given me instructions more than once. But a twinge of fear lingers. For if I venture out a few short steps, the door to my cave may close. And then, there’ll be no turning back. I’ll have to walk one step after another until I reach my next Mount Horeb. But this is what He wants from me… my steps of faith. The carry me from one mountaintop to another. And if experience has taught me anything, I know that the path may become dry and thirsty along the way. But as long as I continue to seek His face, He’ll show up. He’s near to those who call on Him. And you know, He hasn’t let me down yet. I am confident that when I can’t quite see Him and I’m at my driest, God will rain down on me once more.

Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=precious+lord+the+blind+boys+of+alabama+The+passion&qs=n&form=QBVR&pq=precious+lord+the+blind+boys+of+alabama+the+passion&sc=0-0&sp=-1&sk=#view=detail&mid=08589FEE079DB8B419DE08589FEE079DB8B419DE 

What happens in the desert…

mt horeb

The child grew up and became spiritually strong, and he was in the wilderness (desert) until the day of his public appearance to Israel. Luke 1:80

We’ve all heard it… “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Basically, keep it to yourself… no one has to know about it, whatever it may be. But for a woman who wanders the desert, so to speak, this doesn’t quite apply. In fact, the opposite is true. Because if what God purposes to transpire in our hearts actually takes place, then we’re meant to take that with us. We’re not supposed to keep it to ourselves. This is epitomized by something Helen Keller said, “I thank God for my handicaps, for through them I have found myself, my work, and my God.” Amazing story… at 19 months old, Keller lost her ability to see and hear but through the tireless efforts of Anne Sullivan she learned to communicate. Not only that, she went on to be an activist and a writer. Wikipedia includes the following statement made by Keller, “I was appointed on a commission to investigate the conditions of the blind. For the first time I, who had thought blindness a misfortune beyond human control, found that too much of it was traceable to wrong industrial conditions, often caused by the selfishness and greed of employers. And the social evil contributed its share. I found that poverty drove women to a life of shame that ended in blindness.” In this last portion, Keller was referring to prostitution which often led to syphilis (a leading cause of blindness). So Helen Keller, a woman who traversed the desert so to speak, overcame her obstacle. And once she emerged on the other side, she didn’t keep what she learned to herself. Instead, her affliction became her life work. Her ministry. She was a living testament of beauty for ashes.

But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. Exodus 1:12

The Israelites and their forty year desert journey holds a prominent place in my heart. But it was something I recently read that shed new light on their plight. It’s what took place before they even set foot in the desert. They were under Pharaoh’s rule in Egypt and because they were growing so large in number, he decided to oppress them with harsh labor. Their ruthless slave drivers made their lives bitter. Nevertheless, the more the Israelites were afflicted, the the more they grew. Hardship didn’t decrease this people as Pharaoh so intended, but rather, affliction increased them. They multiplied. Hardship did not stop the nation of Israel from spreading out. And over time, when life became too difficult, they voiced their distress. Their cries for help ascended to God and He remembered His people. At the right time, He interceded.

In steps Moses, who had been away from Egypt for forty years. By now, it’s no surprise that God appointed a wayward wanderer for His purposes. It seems as if Moses was a desert sojourner long before God appointed him as leader of His people. For when Moses first encountered God at the burning bush, he had been on the far side of the wilderness (desert). That’s when he came to the mountain of God called Horeb. Does it astonish you to know that Horeb means desolation or desert? At one time, I think that may have struck me as odd… that the mountain of God means desolate. I would have imagined the literal meaning to be glory or majestic. But now, I’m not so surprised. Because it’s becoming clear that seasons of desolation and barrenness are necessary for all of God’s people. Often, it’s that dry season that drives us to His mountain to begin with. We know that at our individual Mount Horebs, we can cry out and He’ll observe our misery and oppression and suffering, just as He did with the Israelites so long ago. We have confidence that He’ll rescue us in the same way. And when He does, we’ll have our own stories. Like Helen Keller, and Moses, we’ll be living testaments of beauty for ashes. Our affliction (even if it be a small one) will become our own life work. A ministry. But first, we have to traverse the desert to get there. On the backside of our deserts is where we find our God.

“You have stayed at this mountain long enough. Resume your journey and go to the hill country…” Deuteronomy 1:6

I just love that. You have stayed long enough… unfortunately, these words were spoken to God’s people before their forty year trek. He had rescued them from Egypt and performed miracles before their eyes. He was right there with them, the LORD God in their midst. And yet, when He said it was time to move on, they were reluctant. Their faith wavered when they saw the inhabitants of the land of promise. And so, fear kept them out. God’s promise delayed because of His peoples’ disbelief. But see, they should have been strong enough. They should have grown by this point. Spiritually, that is. Why the distrust when He proved Himself strong on their behalf over and over and over…

In steps me. I came home to live three and a half years ago and let me tell you, I thought I had arrived. For at that time, I had already served my time of slavery in Egypt and traversed desert lands (or so I thought). I found God (or so I thought). And when my foot made contact with home soil, with all my heart I believed I was emerging on the other side of barrenness into my land of promise. It was there for the taking… I simply had to reach out and grab it. I can’t tell you the shock it was when I realized this is not my land of promise, after all. How dismayed I was when I figured it out… the desert journey had just begun.

Now, I just have to laugh over my naivety. Because in looking back, it’s all so clear. I was Born and raised in this small town, but left at a young age. And when I returned, I thought I was a new creation. But I wasn’t, really. I was so much the same girl who left at 19. And so, what’s crystal clear today is that God brought me home to bring me back from the dead. For here He fills my lifeless form with spiritual breath. He covers me as a newborn babe and nurtures me as I feed on His word. And so, I begin to thrive under His care for He raises me up as His own. And the utter miracle (to me) is that I am being born and raised all over again. In my hometown. I’m growing up all over again where I did it the first time. The only difference is this one’s spiritual. Here I am, a 41 year old woman raising my own child while God raises me, His child. So often, I am in the very place my son is. God teaching me through the little one I’m teaching. Isn’t that amazing?

Here I grow spiritually strong. For in my hometown, I’ve traversed the back side of the desert. But you know what? I’ve also trekked up Mount Horeb. It’s a fact that I have encountered the living God. So now, only questions remain. Have I stayed on this mountain long enough? Have I allowed my affliction to transform me? Has what God purposed to transpire in my heart taken place? Am I ready to take what I’ve learned and use it for His good? Can I be a living testament… one of beauty for ashes. Like Helen Keller? And Moses? And the answer to all these questions… yes. I think, perhaps, it’s a yes. It’s time to resume my journey and go. Which leads to perhaps most important question. How strong is my faith? Do I trust my God enough to walk out of this desert? Because if I don’t, I won’t go any further. For the first step into the land of promise takes faith… just one step.

The miner strikes the flint and transforms the mountains at their foundations. He cuts out channels from rocks, and his eyes spot every treasure. He dams up the streams from flowing so that he may bring to light what is hidden. Job 28:9:11 

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=up+the+mountain+patty&qpvt=up+the+mountain+patty&FORM=VDRE#view=detail&mid=227E0CE8A0C65B05D7B3227E0CE8A0C65B05D7B3

I, too, thirst.

glass-of-water

“If I’m thirsty, I don’t want you to bring me a glass of water. I want you to sympathize. I want you to say: “Gloria, I too know what it feels like to be thirsty. I, too, have had a dry mouth.” I want you to connect with me through understanding the concept of drymouthedness.” – Rosie Perez as Gloria

I watched a movie so long ago and though I don’t remember many scenes, it was the above speech that sticks with me. The character was thirsty and voiced it. And of course, her partner wanted to fix her ailment. An easy remedy, he thought, as he set out to get a glass of water. But that’s not what she needed from him. She didn’t want him to minimize her complaint and offer a quick fix. What she wanted was empathy. She wanted to know that someone else felt just as she did. And when I consider why I set out to write, I think it’s for this very reason. One, I thirst. I long. I ache for more. And it’s in my heart to share. Second, I know I’m not the only one. I’m not. There’s someone else who hears my complaint of thirst. And rather than offering me tap water to shut me up, she nods her head in agreement. She looks me directly in the eye and says, “I, too, thirst.” And this comforts me. For I know I am not alone in my state of dryness. She, too, understands the concept of drymouthedness, for she is my fellow sojourner in the wilderness way.

At times, I’ve questioned what I do. In fact, I’ve shrunk back because of comments and what other people may think. Because in the course of the past year, there have been so many ups and downs. Mainly downs. And the last thing I wish to do is dishonor God. I dare not sully His name by reflecting badly on Him. For here I am, a child of God, and it seems as if I do a lot of complaining. And whining. And bellyaching. So, does this bring Him glory? Am I actively working in His kingdom plan, or by sharing my heart, am I errantly acting against it?

But this morning, it’s His very word that gives me confidence. It’s the Holy Scriptures that come to mind, and through those precious words I see people just like me. I am not the only one. And through the Psalms, I find the empathy I crave. Amidst beautiful words of hope and encouragement, I also find despair. And agitation. And fear. And heartbreak. And oddly enough, it’s those words that comfort me the most. For I know there were others who traveled before me in the wilderness way.

As a deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for You, God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
while all day long people say to me,
“Where is your God?”

I remember this as I pour out my heart:
how I walked with many,
leading the festive procession to the house of God,
with joyful and thankful shouts.

Why am I so depressed?
Why this turmoil within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him,
my Savior and my God.
I am deeply depressed;
therefore I remember You from the land of Jordan
and the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.

Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls;
all Your breakers and Your billows have swept over me.
The Lord will send His faithful love by day;
His song will be with me in the night—
a prayer to the God of my life.

I will say to God, my rock,
“Why have You forgotten me?
Why must I go about in sorrow
because of the enemy’s oppression?”
My adversaries taunt me,
as if crushing my bones,
while all day long they say to me,
“Where is your God?”

Why am I so depressed?
Why this turmoil within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him,
my Savior and my God.  Psalm 42

If I were to encounter the writer of Psalm 42, I think I would shake my head in agreement. I’d look that person directly in the eye and say, “I, too, thirst.” Because I understand. The writer of this Psalm was going through a dry spell. He had tasted the living God, and nothing else would satisfy. But for reasons I don’t know, he felt desolate the moment he set pen to paper. He was depressed and his insides ached. And clearly, he felt as if God had forgotten him. But when I look deeper, I see more. Despite the heaviness, hope remains. He cried out to God in sorrow because he knew God alone was his help. And though times seemed dark, the lightness of days gone by encouraged him. He reflected on previous encounters with God… and His faithful love. It’s evident the writer was distressed, but God was still his God. And God was still his rock. Oh, he was dry alright, but he still had hope. For in his valley low, he recalled mountain highs. And he knew… highs would come again. And so, he praised Him still.

The Psalm writers didn’t hold back. They poured out their hearts but it wasn’t all light and glory and joy. They wrote about reality. Struggles. And I’m so glad they did. Because through them, I know I am not the only one. I know that they, too, thirsted in a dry and barren land. And that gives me hope. For through their steadfast faith, I am encouraged to hold fast to my own. And through their unswerving hope, mine which was lagging is bolstered. And just as they reflected on the mountain highs, I am inclined to do the same. I remember Him. I know He is faithful even when I’m not. And so, I am once again expectant. I endure the dry spell and wait. For the mountain high will come again.

I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FacDkraAvlI 

 

 

 

A Dry Spell

WellA

I’ve been dry. Which is funny because we’ve had so much rain in the past few days that it’s been dripping through the cracks in my kitchen. While a stainless steel pot sat on my floor collecting rain, and I went through multiple towels soaking up standing water off my stovetop, the jar of clay that I am proved to be a leaky vessel. For I seem to hold no water. I feel empty with nothing to offer. Inside, I’m dry. Thus, the dry spell. Dry in every way.

I read from John chapter 4 recently and the words caused me to inwardly moan. Because what I read caused a stirring of the remaining stagnant water within me. But also, it prompted me to consider why I feel the way I do. Because what Jesus promises to a woman of Samaria applies to me, too. And honestly, I just don’t feel it today…

“Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never thirst again- ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up within him for eternal life.”          John 4:13

So what of that? I’m a Christian woman, so shouldn’t I be filled with this living water? Why the dry spell? And in truth, the dryer I become, the more deadened I feel. Kind of a numbness. It takes a lot to make me laugh or cry at this stage. Like I’m an empty shell. And so, activity ensues. I begin to feel frantic and so I try to quench my thirst by feeding on heaping helpings of God’s word. And yet, nothing. Dry as a bone. An empty cistern. But then, I hear Him. He says to me, “You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, yet they testify about Me. And you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” John 5:39-40.

And so, I’m baffled by this statement. Because Jesus is the Word become flesh. And God’s word is powerful and transforming. His words are life. How is it, then, that devouring the Bible in mass quantities leaves me devoid of life? That’s when I hear Him again. I am reminded of Hagar of the Old Testament. She was a woman who had her own dry spells. See, she wandered through the wilderness not just once, but twice. And the wilderness of the Old Testament is not what we think of in our land. No, the wilderness was a desert, barren, wasteland. In fact, one definition shows the wilderness land to be desolate supporting little life. And so, it was amidst Hagar’s dry spells that she encountered the Living God.

The first time she encountered God was when she ran away from home. Circumstances were unfavorable as she was tired of being mistreated by her mistress. So she took off. And that’s when she met Him. But rather than encourage her on her way, God sent her back to her old life. And furthermore, He told her to submit to the mistreatment. But then, He made her a promise. For she was to have a boy child who would grow into a man. Poignantly, this visitation took place at a spring of water. And Hagar named the place Beer-lahai-roi, which means “A Well of the Living One Who Sees Me.” So, Hagar in her dryness, must have stopped at a spring to quench her thirst. But instead, she received a word from the Living One who heard her cry out. Thus, the name of her child was to be Ishmael (God hears).

Hagar did go back to her old life. And it was some years later that she had to go away again. But this time, it wasn’t her idea. Her mistress threw her and Ishmael out. It seems as if she was meant to go away all along… just the timing was not right. And so, Hagar and her boy were sent off with only some bread and a waterskin. And they wandered through the Wilderness of Beer-sheba. Alas, the water didn’t last. And so here was a woman, dry as a bone, trying to sustain both herself and her child in a desolate land that supported little life. She must have lost all hope, for she placed her child under a bush and went and sat nearby. See she couldn’t bear to hear his cries anymore. And tragically, she was waiting for him to die. It appears that Hagar forgot her previous encounter with the Lord. It appears she didn’t recollect what He told her years before. For He said she’d have a child. And He said when Ishmael’s a man… but in her dryness, she didn’t remember. Circumstances seemed too dire. Her unfavorable circumstances loomed before her and that’s all she could see. That’s all she could dwell on.

But you know, Hagar may have forgotten, but God did not. And He heard the boy’s cries and answered. God called out instructions to Hagar, “Get up, help the boy up, and sustain him, for I will make him a great nation.” That’s when God opened her eyes and she saw. There was a well of water. It must have been there all along for she simply needed to get up and fill the waterskin. She just didn’t see it. Her despair and her fear and her hopelessness filled both her heart and her vision. She didn’t know what was right there for the taking. And the sad thing is, I don’t think she even asked God for help. I don’t think she said a word. Because it was the voice of the boy that God heard. Not hers. Unlike Hagar’s first wilderness wandering, she didn’t cry out the second time. She had lost all hope.

And so, today I hear Him. I’ve been wandering my own desert land yet again. And it appears I’ve been digging my own wells. It seems as if I’ve been trying to quench this thirst my way. I’ve been doing more, trying harder, digging deeper in God’s word, and yet, dryness. It was yesterday, my mom said that people sometimes mistake hunger for thirst. And you know, I think there’s something to that. See, I’ve been cramming myself FULL of God’s word. Hours of it. And yet, there’s still this emptiness. Perhaps what my mom said stands spiritually, as well. Perhaps I’m confusing this thirst for hunger. And as powerful as God’s word is, I need something more. I see it through that Samaritan woman in the 4th chapter of John.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. “Give Me a drink,” Jesus said to her, for His disciples had gone into town to buy food. “How is it that You, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” she asked Him. For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would ask Him, and He would give you living water.” “Sir,” said the woman, “You don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. So where do You get this ‘living water’? You aren’t greater than our father Jacob, are You? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and livestock.” John 4:7-12

Jesus asks the woman for a drink, which initiates a dialogue. And so, she asks questions of Jesus. See, He pointed out that if she knew who He was, she’d ask Him for a drink. But she pointed out the obvious. Circumstances were clear to see as Jesus had no bucket and the well was deep. How could He give her water? Furthermore, she had Jacob’s well. And Jacob was a great man… a patriarch. People had been drinking from his water for years. And that’s when Jesus pointed out the obvious. Whoever drank of that water would thirst again. He offers her to drink from Him.

  “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37-38

And so, I hear Him today. I hear Him through the lives of Hagar and an anonymous Samaritan woman. For through them, I see a picture of me. They too, had dry spells. And like them, my faith is running low right now. It’s as if I had forgotten my last encounter with the Living One Who Sees Me. It seems as if I had forgotten what He promised me. And so, my belief has waned. And despite the ceaseless wells I dig by means of activity and busyness and tasks, I remain empty. And despite my drinking from wells that many have drank from before me, I thirst again. And so, it’s here in this dry, barren place that I have no other choice. I just stop what I’m doing. And God opens my eyes to see what lay right before me. For the well of the Living Water has been here the whole time. I just didn’t see it. And because I know I don’t have it in me, I look at Him. It’s clear that despite my best efforts, I cannot satisfy this endless thirst. And so, I do the only thing I can do. I echo the plea of a Samaritan woman of long ago…

I say, “Sir, give me this water so I won’t get thirsty again…”

And then, I’m able to get up. It’s then, I can help my own boy up. It’s then I can sustain him in a dry and desolate land. But first, I must be filled myself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA92O0hxYNw