The past couple months have been heartbreakingly disappointing for me. It has been difficult to write. Heck, it’s been hard just to breathe or get out of bed in the morning. My hope for a thriving relationship bruised. Me feeling like a human yo-yo. The emotions of my day inconsistent and unsteady. A personal, spiritual, emotional warfare within me.
Being in a place of depression or sadness is definitely not a place Christians like to dwell. Many Christians sometimes feel ashamed to not fully exude joy, feel full of wonderment about the goodness of God, or being 100% present to contribute to the kingdom. I know at least, sometimes I do. We’re supposed to be filled with the joy of the Lord, right? Many of us feel shame that we try to hide when we aren’t doing okay. Sometimes even worse, isolate ourselves from those who speak truth into us, hoping that people won’t realize we aren’t perfect Christians.
If anything we are tested and tried even more so for being Christ followers. There’s nothing that threatens the enemy more than you realizing your God designed destiny, or for you to be thriving in your walk with Jesus. The enemy will use the weak spots in our hearts, regret, shame, and failure to try to break down the truth of God that you are fully loved, fully known, and fully redeemed.
Before rededicating my life it looked a lot like the story about the woman at the well in John 4. During verse 13-14 Jesus says, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
I realized I’d been digging my own well hoping that one day if I tried hard enough that it would be full of water, praying that Jesus would fill it. Making life choices out of my own will and praying God would bring me my ideal outcome.
Just like the woman at the well, Jesus assured me that the water from my own well will not satisfy. I would thirst again failed relationship after failed relationship. The love and fullness I needed wasn’t going to come from a man, nor my purpose, nor my destiny. I would always still be thirsty again. They would eventually let me down. I’d never fully be satisfied if I was putting my insecurities into a relationship and expecting that to fix them or make me feel important, loved, seen, appreciated, complete…
Jesus gives the Samaritan woman the desire she is searching for. After her encounter with Jesus the Bible says in verses 28-30, “Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” They came out of the town and made their way toward him.”
This woman is not saying that Jesus is a creepy mind reader, she is saying, “I finally found the man who KNOWS me fully, who understands! I don’t have to explain my heart, he knows it. He is love.” She found the source of love and fulfillment she had been searching for in her past five husbands!
Notice back in verse 28 it says she left her water jar. She left HER vessel to BECOME Jesus’s vessel, full of His living water. She shared her new found joy and satisfaction with the people around her. Jesus was more important than what she had before.
During these times of hardship it’s challenging to tap into this living water. To me, at times Jesus’s vessel in me can feel pretty dry or stale. This is often for lack of motivation or time restriction during a stressful period. I would be lying if I said my pre-dedicated mindset of relationships didn’t sometimes leak into my current life. It’s the lie of the enemy that anything but Jesus’s love fully can leave us feeling satisfied or complete. No love on earth could be as perfect and sweet as our heavenly one.
I think this is the perfect opportunity to place myself in the woman’s shoes and remember what Jesus says. He promises His well doesn’t run out, so we have to be willing to go to the source. Back to the well, to be filled again. And again. And again. No matter what season we are in. I struggle to not be discouraged by the inconsistency of joy in my life. Everyone has ups and downs, cycles, and sometimes rollercoaster rides. I am comforted by God’s counter move to my disappointment. He points me towards Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”
The time to dance, laugh, sing, and be joyful again will return soon. Surely the mountain tops wouldn’t be as special without the valleys.
“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
Photo by Daniel Tagjord
Song of the Week: Psalm 139 (Far Too Wonderful) by Shane & Shane