“The Lord, the spring of living water” - Jeremiah 17:13b
When I was young, every summer my family would vacation with my grandparents in a small cabin in the woods that my grandfather built by a lake. Every day, my brothers and I had the task of walking deep into the woods to a place that had a spring to gather fresh water. After a twenty minute hike to get to this spot, we were rewarded with a glass of ice cold, pure, incredibly clean spring water. Then we would fill up our buckets and make our way back to the cabin. I must admit that frequently we would have a water fight and have to go back to get more water. We never told my Grandma about that part!
In Jeremiah 17:13, we are told that the Lord is the spring of living water. Without water, in a very short time we will die. Jeremiah was writing this to a people living in a dry desert. They understood the dread of drought. In those times, all the wealth in the world could not save them. They were utterly dependent on God to provide rain. In this passage, the Lord is reminding us that He alone wants to be where our complete dependency lies. He not only provides water, but He supplies us with fresh, pure, abundant, satisfying spring water. It will quench our thirst in a way that no other water can.
When we struggle with a lack of self-control, it is because we are trusting in ourselves to fulfill a need in our life. We give into whatever desire and behavior temporarily because it appeases our soul. But because this “water” does not completely quench our thirst, we run back to this activity to again attempt to fill our need. In an effort to “control” our environment because it feels “out of control” or is lacking in some way, we actually intensify the problem. This triggers an even deeper emptiness which drives us to continue in this destructive downward cycle.
To break the cycle, we must surrender our own desires to satisfy our soul and cry out to the only One who can truly quench our thirst with His living spring water! Ironically, having self-control is surrendering control of yourself, others and your environment while giving God FULL control over your life. Trust Him to meet all your emotional, physical, intellectual, spiritual, and relational needs and desires. Obey Him in whatever He asks you to do.
“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord; look to the ROCK from which you were cut . . . He will make your deserts like Eden, your wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in you, thanksgiving and the sound of singing” - Isaiah 51:1,3