Digging Through Disappointment

Spending time with the Lord in many ways is like digging a well. Day after day, you dig. You read your Bible and can’t seem to understand anything. You pray, and feel like you’re hitting a wall. You get dirty. You sweat. You leave tired and still thirsty. You wonder if you’re doing something wrong. You wonder if it’s going to be worth it.

One of my teachers in Bible college described it as three phases: Discipline, desire, and delight. At first, prayer and scripture reading are like anything else that’s good for you. They’re hard. You may not want to do it every day, but you do it anyway. Then, once discipline is developed, you move into desire. In the desire phase, it still may not come naturally to set aside time for prayer. You might have to fight the urge to check your phone or start cleaning up the clutter around you, but your heart longs to spend time with God. Then finally, for those who persevere, you enter into delight. In the delight phase, you cherish your time with God above all else. It’s not a chore to spend time with him, but the joy of your heart! You look forward to this one-on-one time in his presence.

It’s as if you finally hit water, cool and refreshing. The kind that brings life to your soul and washes away the dirt and grime of the day. Now, every day, you can simply draw from the well’s healing water.

It reminds me of the promise Jesus made to us in John 4:14, “but if anyone drinks the living water I give them, they will never thirst again and will be forever satisfied! For when you drink the water I give you it becomes a gushing fountain of the Holy Spirit, springing up and flooding you with endless life!” (TPT).

So why then do we so often feel dry and empty as though we are not experiencing this living water? My friend, I’d encourage you to check your motives. Often times, I catch myself becoming more focused on God’s promises than on the Promise-Giver himself. I’ll seek God when I need something, but when life is good and my heart is happy, I’ll let other things take precedence.

Let us remind ourselves that JESUS is the fulfillment of God’s promises to us. JESUS is the wellspring of life that never runs dry. JESUS himself is the answer to every longing of our hearts’ desires.

Jesus told us that it is the pure in heart who will see God (Matthew 5:8). We know that something is pure when it consists of a substance in its entirety, with no additives. Perhaps if I am not experiencing communion with God the way I want to, I am not seeking him in purity. Perhaps my heart is divided. Perhaps I am seeking things more than I am seeking God himself. May we never forget that God is not a vending machine. He is our Father, our Friend, our Husband. He longs to be pursued and enjoyed just as we do. And when we continue to seek him with pure hearts, our relationships will deepen in intimacy, and we will begin to drink daily from the well that never runs dry.

My prayer for you this week is what I have been praying for myself – that you would long for intimacy with Jesus more than for His blessings. That you would guard your prayer life above all else, and so experience the presence of Jesus in a sweet and intimate way in this season.

So, friend, keep digging. You’re about to hit water.

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