I grew up so far out in the country that we didn’t actually have what we called “city water.” In other words weren’t connected to a public utility system. No pipes came to our house. Instead we had a cistern, a big concrete tank buried in the back yard up to its lid.
Once a week or so we had to order a load of water from a guy who would pull up in his truck with a metal tank on the back, run a hose to the cistern and fill us up. The bummer would be when we would forget to order water or not realize we were low until it was too late. Then we’d just be stuck with no water all. No showers, no washing dishes, no flushing toilets. Nothing.
It’s all kind of weird when I think about it. These days the water flows from the faucets in my house in what seems like an endless supply. My daughters have no idea what it’s like to run out of water, but for me the memory still lingers, and I started thinking about those days last week when I read what God told His friend Jeremiah:
“My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me, the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” – Jeremiah 2:13
Of course God’s not talking about water here but about something even more precious, even more essential to life. He’s talking about Himself. Jesus told a woman at a well one day that if she drank the water He gave her, she would never thirst. Ever.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve dug plenty of “leaky cisterns” in my life, things I thought would satisfy me but left me thirstier than before. What I crave isn’t a stagnant cistern, but an endlessly flowing, life-giving spring. A spring of living water.
And there’s only one place I know to get it. For me, I still have to make that choice daily. Will I seek life in my stuff, my status and my security or will I go to the source of living water and drink from my friendship with God?