I have been receiving Kay Warren's daily video devotions about choosing Joy. In today's video, she discussed Jeremiah 2:13, which says, "'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'" (NIV).
She offers this illustration: Imagine you're in the desert. You're hot, tired, and thirsty. Suddenly, you see a kiosk off to the side, and you see Jesus there offering you water. But instead of taking the water and quenching your thirst, you say, "No, I got this" and you start digging your own cistern.
As a person who always likes to be in control, this is such a great verse to ponder.
While this verse is pointing out that the Israelites chose to do it their way rather than God's way what I love about it is that God's way is obviously so much better. God offers a spring of living water while what the Israelites dig are cisterns. When I think of a spring of living water, I think of fresh, flowing, cool water.
When I think of a cistern I have in my mind this cistern that was outside our dorm at boarding school in Africa. It would collect rain water, but then that water would sit there. Algae would grow on the sides of the cistern, and a nice green scum would coat the top. Leaves, grass, and dirt would fall in and rot in the water. The water really didn't smell so fresh either. It was by no means a place where you would want to quench your thirst.
So if would just stop trying to take control over every situation and give that control to God, look at the wonderful, better plans He has for me.
When Audrey gets sick, instead of worrying and trying to control every aspect of her life in MY attempt to make her better, if I would give that control to God, He will take care of her.
Instead of trying so desperately to control my future, I need to rely on God, and He will show me where He wants me to be 10 years from now, 20 years from now.
When I'm feeling down, instead of complaining or trying to drown my sorrows in chocolate or my favorite TV show, I need to turn to God.
How much better and more joyful would life be if I gave him the reins instead of so foolishly yanking on them myself?