As I’ve struggled with several difficulties in the past months and years, my own heart has suffered more than I’ve been willing to admit. I’ve grown increasingly distant from myself, and often, the things that I do are done with very little thought or consideration. When I am sad, my world can become small. In an effort to avoid the uncomfortable sadness, I begin to reach for any ladder that will lead me out. I’ve learned that when you’re deeply desperate for escape, you’re willing to take almost any rope that’s thrown to you.
And that’s indescribably dangerous.
Due to recent pain, rejection and loss, I’ve found myself vulnerable. But instead of allowing God to come into that vulnerability, I’ve looked for other sources of protection while shutting my eyes to the provision of God.
I’m thirsty. I’m dying for the kind of water that satiates beyond my immediate need. But in my vulnerability, I’ve been willing to take whatever love and happiness I can get.
In Jeremiah 2, the prophet receives a word from God for the frequently off-track Israelites:
“My people have committed two crimes: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and they have made for themselves jars—broken jars that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13).
I have been exhausting myself making jars—broken, useless jars that cannot hold water.
I can almost picture Israel’s mindless gaze as they work and work for what can’t ever satisfy.
Maybe they’re in direct rebellion. Maybe they’ve become self-absorbed and blinded by their own pain—like me.
I’m so tired of trying to take care of myself.
And I am not even sure how long I’ve been making these broken jars.
But what I do know is that I keep doing it, hoping for a different result. Hoping that if I can only be good enough or attractive enough or smart enough that the jar will do what I want it to do.
Maybe one day, it will be enough.
But the problem doesn’t lie in my ability to work with clay—the problem is I was never meant to be the potter. We weren’t made to work for water—we were made to receive it. We weren’t made to make jars—we were made to be jars—jars that hold the grace and love of God.
We are thirsty—we are people who need continual communion with a living God who is far more for us than we could ever be for ourselves.
God deeply satiates with a spring of living water—an unending supply of the grace and mercy and forgiveness and redemption that comes as we meet with him.
The provision of God is available whether or not we deserve it and whether or not we recognize our own deep need.
I’ve spent the past several months with my back to the fountain of living water because I’ve been consumed with making broken jars. For whatever reason, I’ve stepped outside of God’s provision and tried to mask my vulnerability with anything anyone else could give.
And it’s failed.
I’ve exchanged the presence of God for what which has no value.
My routines and methods of escape have gone unquestioned for too long.
But now, I’ve finally run out of breath.
When I sunk down, the spring of living water was there—this spring that promised to take care of me, no matter how long I’d rejected its compassionate gift.
I’ve been too busy holding on to that which destroys. Broken jars have sharp edges. I’ve caused myself pain by holding on to pottery shards. I’ve not only rejected provision, I’ve also endured unnecessary grief.
The pain I’ve tried to avoid has only increased. The shame I’ve tried to fight has only grown. The rejection from which I ran has become suffocating.
Thank God the fountain is still there when we finally stop spinning and fall down.
Every part of me needs the life-giving, continuous, redemptive, and transforming gift of God. My hands need healing. My feet need rest. My shattered heart, my skewed perspective, my hurting soul all need the provision that comes through frequent encounters with God.
We were never meant to take care of ourselves. Instead, God asks us to rest in his willingness to care for us.
Take the satiating provision. Stop trying. And rest by the spring that never stops giving.