I carefully approach the aged water well. It stands alone in the midst of overgrown weeds, barely visible to passersby. Yet I am drawn to it. My curiosity calls to me. I question when it was last used for its intended purpose. Is it entirely dry, empty, and worthless? Or is there more here than meets the eye?
I lean over, peering into the darkness. I press a jagged rock tightly into the palm of my right hand. I wonder what lies below, yet the uncertainty of it frightens me. So I hold on to the rock until its impression is fixed into my skin. Finally, sheepishly, I release it. And I wait expectantly, breathlessly. Until I hear it. The thud of the rock as it encounters the hardened, bone-dry floor.
And I weep.
I weep, for to me it represents so much more than a dried up well. It reminds me of the many women I’ve met, those precious sisters whose hearts have run dry. Who feel empty and worthless.
Those who feel as if they’ve dished out all the goodness they have to offer, and it’s not enough. They’re scraping the bottom for what is not there because that’s all they know to do. They give and give until there is nothing left. They are that weathered well, standing alone, overcome by the weeds of life. Pressed on every side. Spent. Exhausted. Depleted.
If this is where you are today, my friend, please know you are not alone. May I say it again? You. Are. Not. Alone. And you are not destined to remain stuck in your emptiness. Neither am I.
I’ve noticed depletion seems to be commonplace in many of our honest, day to day, jam-packed, wonderfully blessed lives. It is there. It is real. It is relentless. And it makes it tough to flash a genuine smile, speak words of encouragement, or extend grace to others when we’re pulling from a dry well ourselves.
But may I share some encouragement with you? May I show you a parallel between this old, dried up well and our thirsty hearts?
A drought, if ignored, will cause a water well to run dry, but not without first handing out some clear warning signs. If these signs are noted and dealt with in a timely manner, the well will continue to function as designed.
The same is true of us.
If allowed, life’s circumstances will empty us, rendering us incapable of living fully as God intended. But if we’re paying attention, we will notice when trouble is brewing. We will recognize when our behavior indicates we are nearing empty. And then, in that moment, we realize the choice becomes ours.
We decide whether or not our hearts run dry.
Please join me next week for Part 2 of When Our Hearts Run Dry, where we’ll discuss some specific strategies for keeping our hearts full. See you then!