A couple of years ago, I lived in a house that sat on a small hill. The bottom of the road begins to slowly incline, degree by degree, until it reaches the crest and evens out again. Sometimes in the Summer, with great buoyancy and enthusiasm, I would lace up my trainers and practically glide down the road whilst singing shamelessly to whatever was pumping through my Spotify playlist. A very British nod and smile of acknowledgement to the stranger passing with their dog, a glance at the houses that had gone up for sale, and the odd pause to reposition my headband; the usual stuff you do when you go out for a run. One common mistake I incessantly made was that I failed to take a bottle of water with me. The downhill jog was basic child’s play, and to be honest, carrying something else on the journey felt like an unnecessary accessory. The problem with this ideology was that the descent did not continue forever: throughout the course of the route, there was a lot of flat concrete, and inevitably, the dreaded and painful elevation on the road home. Within a short time period, the stranger with a dog felt like an obstruction, I wasn’t engaged with any developments in the estates I dragged past, and my headband was halfway down my face (a complete failure of its purpose) and preventing me from seeing clearly. Why did I end up like this after starting with such energy? Well, I was acutely dehydrated.
At our midweek gathering last week, Dave Belfield boldly shared his heart about how disarming it is when we allow our life source, the fresh water not from a natural spring, but from a living and breathing relationship with Jesus Christ to become blocked and stagnate. There is a beautiful capture of this in the New Testament, where in John 4, Jesus himself (against all cultural propriety) stopped at a well and asked a Samaritan woman to draw him some water. Throughout their conversation, Jesus begins to share with the woman about what he calls ‘living water’… this wasn’t advice
on biological refreshment, but a loving guide towards himself and the life available through Him. Metaphorically speaking, the well of her life had been clogged up with plenty of litres that weren’t the fresh streams that Jesus spoke of in that moment.
Imagine that all of us have a well. We then have a responsibility to tend to that well, check that rotten leaves don’t contaminate its content, and ensure that it is filled with the right nutrient so we aren’t harmed by drinking from it. We become dehydrated spiritually when we fail to recognise that the race we run requires continual hydration from the only good source, God himself. Water is a fundamental element for life to exist, and this is only mirrored in the vista of the life of followers of Christ: dirty water or the absence of water equals suppressing of new life. As Dave highlighted, signs of an abandoned well are that we have a full diary with little fulfilment, a mandate but no momentum, and we don’t see things as they truly are.
What kind of water is in your well? Does an excavation work need to take place to remove offense, apathy, and broken mindsets that will allow the fresh water to flow through every aspect of your life? Don’t wait until you’re doubled-over gasping at the sink for a drink or in a season of desperation before you are equipped for this stage of the journey.
Author: Rachel Calland