Monday, March 7, 2011

Deep calls unto Deep

"The woman said, Sir how are you going to get this living water?. . . . Jesus said, Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again.  Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst--not ever.  The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life." John 4:13-14 (the MSG)

Then spring up O well within me!!  Remember that crazy kid song? I can see the motions and hear the "gusha, gusha, gush" part in my head even now.  Is Jesus really serious when he says we won't ever thirst spiritually??  So if I do experience dryness, is it real?  Is it really who I am in the spirit?  It may not be who I am, but it sure is where I live--often.  In the "shallow place where everyone lives," as Jill Briscoe says.  So how do I get to the "deep place where nobody goes?" to keep using her words.  

How do you get there?  I have always loved the psalmist's cry: "deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me" (Ps. 42:8).  Did you know the word for "calls" (qara) means "to cry out, to proclaim, to name."  If I were to summarize the definition it could sound like:  to shout loudly for a long time to get God's attention to help with a chronic, critical need and get Him to do something very specific!!  Right now I'm crying out for my beloved neighbor Phil who's laying in ICU struggling against the machines keeping him alive.  God, do you hear??  Have I got your attention?  I want another chance.  Another chance to tell him about You.

Did you know that God shouts at us to get our attention too?  Unfortunately though, "when He called, no one answered, when He spoke, no one listened" (Is. 66:4).  Oh God.  How did I miss you?  How many times did you tell me to walk across the street and bring Phil a cup of cold water.  Oh, I guess I did that, but did I whisper the name Jesus to his heart? I have to be honest God.  I didn't want to look foolish.  I remembered a tiny sting of rejection from him before.  And I didn't want to go there again.  Now I'd give anything for a chance to go to that deep place where I didn't go.  Forgive me, Father.

Again with the Psalmist in the same chapter I'm echoing his words, "I'm on a diet of tears, tears for breakfast, tears for supper" (Ps. 42:3 MSG).  I'm so sorry Abba.  Regret tears at my soul.  Did the woman at the well regret her choices?  She didn't know any better.  I did.  Do I deserve to be filled?  to have Your living water spill into my crusty, cardboard cup?  I am amazed again how unlike us You are.  "Before they shout loudly to get My attention I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear" (paraphrase mine, Is. 65:24).  I don't think we know what pure grace is until we need it. 

Do I get to the deep places of living water by admitting my failure?  by being painfully honest with You?  What a backwards God.  Going back to the scorching afternoon well, I listen in again to Your words:  "It's who you are and the way you live that count before God.  Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth.  That's the kind of people the Father is out looking for:  those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship.  God is sheer being itself--Spirit.  Those who worship must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration" (Jn. 4:23-24 MSG). 

If it's true God that I can't give You anything I haven't owned, then I own my failure.  I own my fear.  my fear of man.  As my tears flow, I pour myself into Your fountain of endless life that courses through my being, and I cry out for You to wash off the stains of my brokenness.  Thank You for hearing me even before I called and responding before a word was on my lips.  Thank You for receiving my true self and redeeming my broken heart.

What are you crying out for?  a loved one? a job? health?  peace?  Know that He has heard your cry long before you uttered the words.  And He truly wants to know all of your heart.  The good.  The bad. and the ugly.  He will meet you right there.  I promise.  And He calls that true worship.  Oh, and please pray for Phil and his family.


1 comment:

Tammy Harms said...

I'm sorry to hear about Phil. I will be praying for him. And sweet friend, KNOW that you do not whisper Jesus, you proclaim it in every move you make. Hugs!