I went as far as deactivating my social media account. I was frustrated, done, hurt. People walking out of my life because they don’t understand. People judging my decisions without knowing any background. Not being able to do for people the way I’ve always done weighed on me, and in turn also affected my friendships. I was living the most misunderstood season of my life. I wallowed in the negativity. As I was upstairs in our new house, staining boards, working hard with my hands but feeling depressed and frustrated and a whole slew of other emotions, I heard the small quiet voice of God, “What about Me? What about this blessing that I’ve laid out for you? What did I call you to? How are you glorifying Me in this? What are you choosing?”
My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of the living water,
and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
Jeremiah 2:13 NIV
Israel is a dry, parched land, so spring water is extremely rare and highly valued. To store water, people would use cisterns hewn out of rock. Cisterns were valued because their job was to hold the highly valued spring water, but they had their issues: they could leak, their limited supply could run dry, and they could be polluted with bugs or carcasses. If you had a clean, fresh spring readily available to you, would you choose a leaky, possibly polluted, limited cistern? No. Jeremiah’s point here is that the people of Judah, by deserting God, chose a leaky, polluted cistern over the spring of Living Water.
And me, too.
I chose to wallow in my own sin. I chose things that I have absolutely no control over. I chose negative thoughts and frustration. Here’s the realest deal you’ll hear all day, my friends: God is sovereign AND our choices matter. God rules over everything and everyone, but He still graciously grants us a choice. And if we choose the leaky cistern over the Living Water, our resources are limited. We run out of patience, love, perseverance, availability, determination, and on. We won’t be able to finish what He has called us to.
In what areas of your life are you choosing a leaky cistern? I’m still in that season of life, it’s just different now. I’m sure there are other areas of my life where I’ve hewn my own cistern, and I’m charging forward with it, not realizing what I’m losing. But the graciousness of God tells me that He will reveal those to me, and the Living Water will always be available to me. I just have to put down the cistern.
Praying for your cisterns this week.