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Broken Cisterns

February 15, 2012

Lately I’ve been pondering how I respond to certain situations in which I commonly find myself.  Temptation, sin, pain, brokenness… they all illicit a response.  And with each situation comes a different response, the strength of which varies based on the specific event.

Close friends reject God.

Parents lose jobs.

Family members are diagnosed with cancer.

The strength of our response is directly proportionate to the degree of pain associated with the event.  And, most of the time, I’m not running to God with great fervor, praising Him for counting me worthy of suffering.

…for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

I turn to other things.  Food.  TV.  Shopping.  Music.  All spiritually neutral things.  Yet, they are so easily perverted when we turn away from our Comforter and run toward them, seeking to be filled.  These things can never fill us.  But, like immature children, we immediately run back to them at the first sign of pain.

In his book The Seven Longings of the Human Heart, Mike Bickle says this:

“As we watch our children grow, we anticipate moments of immaturity.  The reason two-year-olds are impatient has a lot to do with the fact that they’re only two years old.  When they throw a cup across the kitchen because they can’t reach the goldfish, they aren’t disqualified from the family or from their parents’ affections.  They are not excommunicated from the family.  Immaturity becomes a teaching moment, not a relational breakdown.  The parents know that it will not always be as it is at the moment; after all, their toddler is growing up.

We all have hopes.

We all have longings.

We all have desires.

Our immaturity drives us to seek the fulfillment of these through broken cisterns – anything other than God.  The wonderful hope we have is that God is using these experiences to increase our maturity, character, and, ultimately, joy.  One day we will recognize these broken cisterns for what they are – weak, pathetic substitutes for what the Apostle Paul calls “the life that is truly life.”




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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2012 8:51 am

    Great post Clayton

    • thebassoflife permalink*
      February 16, 2012 10:46 am

      Thanks, Scott!

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