Sunday, February 24

Digging with a purpose.......

“Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug back in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had stopped them up after Abraham died. Isaac gave these wells the same names his father had given them. When Isaac's servants dug in the valley and discovered a well with fresh flowing water there…” (Genesis 26:18-19 NET.)

At the gathering today, with the other men that have been called to a higher discipling and training, I spend my time wondering again what my purpose and inclusion within this group of giants could possibly give to the group. That is the reason why I sit amongst them, because I don’t feel like I belong. Not because of any indication from the men gathered, but due to my own wounded past and the deep valley that I find myself walking in now.

Dr. Crabb talked today about broken cisterns and the well of living water. And how we, as foolish people, seek to wander away from God’s well to dig our own, which are incapable of handling the water we pour in them. We know where to gain the most sustaining water, yet we rely too often on our own digging ability to try and achieve a quenching on our own. Sounds like foolishness to our ears when we hear it, but not when we’re sweating from our own attempt.

One of the hardest things I’ve had to do is to ‘dig’ into my father’s past. Hard because the people that would give me voice to the parts of his life I do not know are either gone or bitterly opposed to portraying him realistically for the full realization of his story. And harder still, because I have found that I can look into his past by uncovering my own wounds, those broken cisterns of my life. The man I once was is the man my father had become. And as I wander the broken landscape of my life, I hear whispers of the man my father was meant to be.

The same names can be given to those cisterns, the deep holes incapable of giving life-sustaining water poured from the waterskins of my own woundedness, as my father had learned or didn’t ever realize were the results of his wounds his father had unintentionally given him. In reopening the wells that my father had dug, I find the story of his life reawakened. And I find a surprise that I think my father did not realize was even there; a well of fresh flowing water, a deep spring of life affirming water.

Am I to be the man that my father was? Or can I redeem the story that has continued through the generations and understand my past while changing my future?

Will I be a ‘foolish’ son that turns his back upon the very source of answers that I seek or will I dive into the murky and hidden dangers that such water holds, sure of one thing and one thing only: that this is where the source of quenching this uneasy and conflicting thirst lies…just underneath the stagnant surface?

Will I move into the painful experiences of my past that have wrought the realistic hurts of my present with the fear and trepidation that comes from my all too human desire to not know pain? One of the things I have grown weary of hearing is, “It is perfectly understandable to……” act the way I do, respond the way I do, or even sorrow the way I do; given the circumstances that I find myself dealing with. And yet, to commonly respond to common situations isn’t what I want to do. Christ didn’t respond the way that we should think, being well-versed in the responses of fallen, broken human beings should, but in a supernatural and spiritually pure way that is contrary to all we hold dear.

He didn’t dig his own cisterns even though He had more chance of doing it right than we could ever do, but in His fully human form, He responded by relying on the deep spring waters found in His father’s wells…..buried by the Pharisees of the day. And, He didn’t rename them according to His desires but kept the names given by His father, making new the things of old. In His fully human form, He showed us how to rely upon the story told of His father.

I don’t know if I am making sense, or if I am only sounding vague and uncertain in what I feel led to write today. I am conflicted, sorrowed, and weary. But even in the midst of my desert experience that I have seemed to journey on for forty years of my spiritual life, I know that there is a source—seemingly hidden under the ground that will feed the wells that have been dug by my father in his journey before me.

They will sustain me in this dry time, in the search for the quenching of my spiritual thirst. And I cannot know the location of the wells already dug unless I journey into the past of my father’s story and retrace his steps that I have unconsciously walked in blind to its deadly destination.

I will dig………not for a place to put the water of my own substance. That would be to pour what little of my joy into the thirsty sands of a desert bent on my own destruction. For this land is ruled by the one that would have me parched and withered.


I will dig in the places of my father’s wells, not seeking to uncover temporary water but rather the source of the wells themselves. The sustaining and life-giving spring of my heavenly Father.

I will dig with a purpose.

And a hope............that springs eternal.

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