There’s a well nearby. You’ve probably seen it. It’s in a dusty abandoned town. You wonder who used to live here and why they all left.

Many people have traveled by this well on their journeys through life, but either didn’t notice it, decided not to check it out, or tried it but left for some reason. It doesn’t appear that the well has been used in a long time. You are not even sure if the water is good. The top of the water looks unappetizing . . . . disgusting actually – covered in dust, dirt, germs, bugs and grime. Who would even want to use this well or drink its water? You dip your finger in to just taste it anyways as you realize how thirsty you are, but you only taste the stuff on top. Yuck. You’re not drinking that! But your thirst remains.

You decide to move on. . . . to find something more appealing . . . more appetizing . . . more eye-catching and tasty. You heard there was something better down the road. So you turn your back to the well and head off.

I urge you to come back.

Things are not always what they seem.

There is more to this well than the casual observer and wanderer will ever know.

Let me help you draw up the DEEP water from the well. That is where the best water resides – where the cooler, refreshing, life-giving water is. It is not tainted by the dirt, dust, germs or bugs on top of the water. Nothing has touched this deep water except the bucket and cisterns that are allowed to draw deep into it.

Are you that kind of cistern or vessel?

Are you ready to go deep?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I know how you feel

2:35pm – The school bus arrives and unloads my precious cargo. I gear myself up for what is about to walk through the door.

“Welcome home!” I sweetly sing. “How was your day? Come give me a hug. Do you need a snack? Let’s get one before we start homework, ok? I’m so glad you are home.”

Frowns, grumbling, screaming, angry faces seem to be the normal response from 2 of the 3 kids. . . . the boys to be specific. I remain calm and give lots of love, hugs and kisses (to those that will still let me), and continue to speak in my “nice mom” voice. My daughter is usually happy upon returning home, but I spend the next 2 hours, politely, gently and lovingly reminding her and reminding her and reminding her to sit down and do her homework before she goes out to play.

3:10 – I am trying to remain calm as I explain repeatedly why I need the kids to get their shoes on (which they should have just left on to begin with) and not get into the snacks right now as they should have had their snacks a half hour ago and that we need to go pick up their brother from school right now so we can get back in time to finish (or start) their homework before I have to start dinner, or we have to go to piano lessons, or football practice, or cheerleading practice, or church, etc. You would think we had never done this before, that this schedule is something new – yet everyday it’s the same thing. Complaining, arguing, tons of “why’s” and me feeling like I’m dragging the kids to the car to pick up my oldest.

3:25 – We are waiting for my oldest to come out of school, while he is waiting inside for me to eventually wander into school to find him – despite the fact that I tell him everyday to be waiting outside or right by the door for me and to watch for my car as I wait in the pickup line. While in the car we have various “important” and ear drum piercing fights going on - necessary topics like: who gets to sit in what seat, who gets to play with the rubber “butt pad” from my bike seat that fell off, who found this particular feather, whose underwear they found in the car and many other life-changing topics. I keep KLOVE playing on the radio as I try to read one of my Christian “how-to” books.

3:45 – Before we even get back home the fighting begins between the oldest 2 boys. They are like cats and dogs, oil and water. The issues run deep, yet they want me to “fix it” by “making the other one” do or don’t do something. That’s like putting a bandaid on a deep infected wound. It won’t solve the problem. Despite my on-going and fervent prayers, encouragement, advice, etc, they will not forgive each other to heal themselves from the wounds and to tear down the defensive wall between them. I cherish the rare times they actually play well together.

5pm - AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! I’ve had it!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why can’t you just do your homework? Why do you guys always come home mad? Why won’t you tell me what’s going on so I can help you? Why do you guys start fighting with each other the moment you come home? Why? Why? Why? . . . . And for heaven’s sake . . . WHY are you fighting over a rubber “butt pad” from my bike? Aren’t there more important things in life to fight about (good morals, poverty, etc)? Don’t you know that your life would be soooo much better (and mine) if you just decided to obey, and to love each other?! Don’t you know that? Don’t you want a better life??

I have had enough of this craziness. It feels as if I have tried every trick in every book to get to the root of things. I sat before the Lord recently, begging Him for wisdom, telling Him about how frustrated I’ve been with being a mom and trying to maintain a calm, peaceful home when the kids continue to disobey, fight, scream and come home mad every day. Don’t they know how much better their life could be??? Don’t they want a better life?

“I know how you feel Lori”
I heard God say. “I have felt the same way about MY kids. It breaks my heart to see them fight amongst themselves, to continue to disobey, to stay mad – full of unforgiveness, to fight over silly things, and more. Don’t they know that their lives could be so much better? I have good plans for their lives. Plans to prosper them and not to harm them. Plans to give them a hope and a future.”

I began to cry. I could feel His sadness. I could feel how I, as one of His kids, have grieved Him. He is so gentle and kind, loving and forgiving, greeting us daily with arms open wide saying “Welcome home”. And what do we do in return? We come into His “home” with anger, resentment, fighting, bitterness, disobedience and more. And yet, we expect Him to take care of us – to feed us, clothe us, put a roof over our heads and love us. And He does. Do we deserve it? No. But He does it anyways. Because He loves us. Because He is our Daddy – a perfect heavenly Father . . . nothing like our earthly fathers (no matter how good or bad they were). Definitely not like the mother I’ve been lately.

I’m sorry Lord. Forgive me. Forgive us Lord. Show us and help us to hear you, obey you, love you and love our brothers and sisters in Christ.

I want to encourage each of you to take this as a word from your heavenly Daddy. He has so much for you – a better life – an abundant life. What are you doing to hinder that? Have you been complaining about your life and how you wish it was better . . . how you wish God would just follow through on His promises? Well . . . .how are you responding to Him? How are you treating your brothers and sisters in Christ? I don’t say these things to condemn or judge – but to get you thinking. I know I have some thinking, praying, repenting to do (as well as some different parenting techniques and loving responses to implement around here!).

God loves you so much! Listen, obey, love and live the life Jesus died on the cross for you to have!

Go deeper today!

L :)

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have lire, and have it to the full.”
John 10:10

“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’”
Jeremiah 29:11-13

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of on body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
Colossians 3:12-15


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