Friday, June 8, 2007

Thankful for unfulfilling cisterns

"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us." (NIV)

I have not been loving my temple enough lately in regards to exercise, so I have finally picked up running again. Now before you go comparing yourself here on this one, I should let you know that my fast-paced walk with flailing hands is faster than my jog. (Yes - I am sadly that out of shape). Life had thrown my heart a blow these past few days, so I was desperate to go be with my Jesus. At that moment, a jog was the only venue I had to be alone with Him. I threw on my tennis shoes and bolted out the door.

I poured out my wounded heart before Him. I told him all about it. All about it. He got a spiritual ear full before I could even began turning my heart to start claiming who He was (which is what I probably should have started out with). In the middle of confessing who He is, shattering the dark with the light of His Truth, I approached a park in the new neighborhood in which I now live. I veered off the pavement and followed the winding gravel road.

It was absolutely beautiful. The Lord totally started showing off and I slowed myself to a walk to enjoy His glory. The sun rays were dancing through the trees. Blue jays and red robins flew diagonally back and forth ahead of me, inviting me further back into the woods. The Chattahoochee River roared to the left of my path. I sat on a bench and watched fish jump, heroins swoop down into the river, squirrels chase one another, and the birds continue their aerial dance.

My heart was only slowly unwinding, allowing my tender Physician to finally press His nail-scarred hand upon the open wound. I finally shut my mouth (I am sure He had been waiting, tapping His foot on His throne...wondering when in the world I was going to stop chattering) and listened for His voice amidst the praise of His creation. And I heard Him. Loud and clear in my own spirit. Firm, yet tender, with an "I love you". (I think my heart skipped a beat). Again, and again, and again. An "I love you" from my Father. It was very clear that I needed to sit on that for a bit. So I stayed on the bench, letting the everlasting arms of my Savior embrace me, love on me, and hold me tight. I basked in it, reveled in it, and let it fill every empty crevasse of my soul.

Don't miss it: "I love you."

When I can "know and rely on the love that God has for me," it is unnecessary to look to another thing or person to fill my need for love, affection, or acceptance. The KJV renders "know and believe the love that God has for me." To know it. To believe it. To lean up against it. To let Him devastate me with His love.

I realized how much of His glory must be a stake when I do not know and believe His love for me. "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 What is your cistern? Where are you digging for love, only to arrive empty? Your job, your performance, your ministry, your marriage, your children, your image, yourself? If we could grasp who He is, these competing sources of fulfillment in our lives would be exposed as the mirages that they really are.

Dear sister! I beg you to cease digging cisterns. Cease sowing the things of this world. And let the love of Your Mighty Heavenly Father be sown into your heart. Let it absolutely ruin you, so that no other affections can even compete. Let Him steal your heart each new day with the wonders of who He is, and the marvel that He loves you as tenaciously as He does. When you can grasp this, the cisterns around you fade...the shallow water you had tried to keep sustainable in them dries up...and you look to the Fountain of Living Water. You behold the One who satisfies your needs in a sun-scorched land (Isaiah 58:11). You taste and see that the Lord is good! To never thirst and hunger in Him. Dig away Beloved into the richness of the Bread of Life. Dig away into the endless marvelous feast of who He is.

And you'll find His love. He will whisper your sweet name. His merciful love will rock your mundane world and steal your breathe away. Oh how I want Him to be the Lover of your Soul!

His glory is at stake. Get rid of the shovel that digs your cisterns, and grab hold of your sword. Wield it. Believe it. Walk in it. Dare to believe that you really are loved by Him. He will not fail you. He is the Fountain of living waters (Jeremiah 17:13)

I eventually pulled myself from that moment, and turned towards home. Forgive me, but I'm a Jesus brat. When I am getting all loved on, and reminded that I'm his favorite ( insert smile), I don't really care to leave! I mean...I'm HIS for crying out loud! Life called, and I left. I started running back. No........skipping :) I couldn't help it. For He loves me so...


CrownLaidDown said...

Mmm Mmm Mmm! I think that is the best work-out I have ever heard of--sounds like you are perfect to Him (you ARE!)
Love and prayers, Friend!

Patty said...

Now, how can you be his favorite when I am?!! LOL!!! Just kidding! God is using you so powerfully thru your writing. My goodness, I think you need to write a study or studies for women. I am blown away, yet again. I love it when God shows off for us. How amazing his love for us and to show off on a jog, I mean, come on, can you just jump and down?!! He is our DELIGHT! He loves to delight his children and you are so right, the many times we all run to other things or expect people to fill the void in our hearts where only God can do that. Thank you for this reminder!
Love You!

P.S. I am believing God for a Deeper Still ticket for you and Abby!

Lindsee said...

Girl, if anything speaks to my heart right now, it is that. I will be linking this soon on my site, so be ready for some visitors. :) I am serious, you need to write a book. I would be the first to buy it. Thank you for your honest heart and precious words of encouragement. I absolutely love and adore you for that!

It reminds me of a song I've been listening to these past few days which says "If we don't worship you, we'll search for substitutes to fill the void in our souls. Worshiping other things destroys our liberty. But as we praise you we are free." -Vicky Beeching

If you don't know her, buy her CD. Amazing!! :) HUGS from Houston.

Kenya Dig It? said...

thank you so much for following hard after Jesus and being transparent! This speaks so true to my heart right now! Thank you for sharing what he is doing in your life, because he is using you in more ways than you know!

RealEstateGirl said...

Shelly, this is absolutely beautiful and what an image it creates in my mind of the Lord's love for me.

Powerful post, my dear friend!

connorcolesmom said...

Oh Shelly,
I was so moved by your post. I can relate so well to you. I to have had many times where I have "thrown on my tennis shoes and bolted out the door" so I could pour myself out b/f my Heavenly Father!! God is always faithful to listen and then love :)

God has definitely gifted you with the ability to transpose your thoughts and feelings into beautiful writing. I do beleive He has a mighty work for you. You minister to so many without condemnation just pure, honest truth and God filled devotion.

By the way, I saw the post from Patty about the Deeper Still tickets. I have many friends that are just going without a ticket knowing that God will provide. I am still saving a room for you sista and I have 3 left for anyone else that might need one (right next to the conference center) :)
Love you my sister!!

kittyhox said...

Praise God for disappointments, hurts, and imperfect relationships. Without them, we might not realize how we need him.

What an awesome post! Bless you, sista!

Kelly S. said...

My lips will glorify You because Your steadfast love is better than life.--Psalm 63.3

Beautiful words that created a beautiful image in my head. Thank you for sharing your personal time with HIM. Hope all is well,

Lisa said...

Sista Shelly,
God is really speaking to me through you right now. I feel as if you wrote this post about me.
You are such a blessing.
Love in Christ,

Tiffany said...

You really do bless me! This spoke volumes to my very wounded heart! Thank you for such amazing writings!

Much love, sister!

holy chaos said...

great post! i have my sword...

then before i know it...

i have traded it for my shovel...

the sword brings peace and life and JOY :)

Debra said...


jennyhope said...

I read this after I read your other one. That is just what I meant...about being rooted, knowing and relying on His love. so good my friend. Me and Morgan are going to head to a peaceful place tomorrow and pick us up some do-nuts on the way. I am tired of being cooped up!