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When Your Well Runs Dry

March 30, 2015 3 comments

We’ve all been there.  Early mornings, long days and late nights trying to fulfill all of our obligations. Work, family, school, bills, entertainment, volunteer work, exercise, hobbies, managing a social life and keeping up on social media, all while trying to pursue our ever elusive dreams.

It’s not uncommon for American’s to work 50-60 hours a week, to sleep less than six, to fill our weekends with sporting events and social gatherings, then to spend Sunday evening frantically trying to squeeze every ounce of joy out of life before having to do it all over again on Monday. It doesn’t take long for the American Dream to become the American Nightmare.

Image via blueinkalchemy.com

Image via blueinkalchemy.com

We’re overworked, under-rested, exhausted, frustrated and always one step away from burn out. Our dreams manage to stay elusively out of reach or we obtain them and they fail to deliver. Our days are filled with stress and our nights with worry. What if I can’t cut it? Will everything I’m living for be what I hoped it will? Is it even worth it?  Each day is a treadmill and the life we want is always just out of reach.

Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places

At this point, we want someone to tell us that we can do it, our dreams are within reach and the life we’ve always wanted is just around the corner. The truth is, our dreams demand more than we can give and always promise what they cannot deliver.

In Luke 9:23-25 Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”

The prophet Haggai likewise declares, “You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes” (Haggai 1:6).

The Unexpected Let Down of Getting What We Want

Even if we obtain what we’re pursuing it will eventually fool us and fail us.  It temporarily gratifies, but it does not eternally satisfy. Take New England Patriot’s quarterback Tom Brady for example.  The guy has won four Super Bowls, has a supermodel wife, is famous and has more possessions than the average person can dream of.

Yet in an interview with 60 Minutes he said that he “didn’t expect winning to come with so much baggage.” After his third Super Bowl win he asked with desperation, “why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still feel like something is missing?” Maybe the Lord was right, life “does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15) Neither does it consist in the achieving of one’s dreams.

Getting Life from the Source

Proverbs 4:23 says it best when it warns readers to “guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” This is a warning to be cautious about what we source our lives in.  This isn’t to say that our dreams are bad, it’s to say that they’re a poor place to put our hope.  If our life is sourced in anything other than Jesus we are going to run dry because nothing can be for us and do for us what only he can be and do.

Life isn’t found in the achieving of one’s dreams it’s found in Jesus, the giver of life.  He is the only well that won’t run dry because he is the only source that is eternal. When our lives are sourced in Jesus we are free to pursue the dreams God has put into our hearts without being enslaved by them.  We are also free to move on to the other things God has in store when life doesn’t go according to plan.

More importantly, we have to understand that our dreams can’t give us what we really want, only Jesus can.  We pursue fame to feel important, money to feel secure and friends to feel accepted.  These aren’t bad things, but they will often fail to deliver that which we desire.

When our lives are sourced in Jesus we have all the significance, security and acceptance we need. We will be free from tirelessly chasing empty promises because we won’t need them to give us what we already have in Christ. The tighter we hold onto the fleeting pleasures of this world, the more we’ll miss out on the eternal satisfaction of God. 

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