From Leaky Dams to Full Lives

The Biblical book of Jeremiah offers a gloomy reflection on spiritual thirst. In Jeremiah 2:13, God shares, “My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and built cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” In short, Jeremiah is saying we are lousy architects of our own lives.  We are only good at making leaky pools.

I grew up in rural Missouri, playing in the woods behind my house. I spent hours in the woods and creeks behind my home, hiking, exploring, playing, shooting, and occasionally building. My friends and I built forts, but we also, from time to time, endeavored to construct a dam. The hope was to turn a section of a trickling creek into a large pool big enough for us to swim and jump into.

The Storms of Life & The Unshakeable Faithfulness of God

This past Friday, I received one of those phone calls you dread taking. It was the call where you look down at your cell phone, see the Caller ID, and immediately know something is very wrong because that person doesn’t usually call, certainly at that time of day. I hesitantly hit accept, said hello, and sure enough, my dad was on the other end telling me that my mom was in the hospital, having suffered a possible stroke.

Many kids, when getting a call like that, would immediately jump in the car and race to visit. That’s certainly what I wanted to do, but I was a thousand miles away (my mom lives near St. Louis). All I could do was pray. So, I prayed, but if I am being honest, I was praying some rather raw prayers.

My mom is 70, which is young but not super young. She recently went through a round of battling cancer – with all the corresponding radiation and chemo – just last year. And now… this? I was praying for God not to let this be too much for her. To give her strength and peace.

But I was also asking, “God, where are you? Why this? Why now? This seems unfair. Did you somehow forget that my mom leads a Bible study and literally teaches people about you? Did you forget that in her downtime, she volunteers to clean her church, your house, each week? To me, at least, my mom is basically a saint, and this is what you let happen to her? Cancer and now a stroke?” Again, the prayers were pretty raw.

It’s Not Enough to “Just” Make it to Heaven

I once heard someone say, “I don’t care if I just barely make it into heaven, as long as I make it through those pearly gates!”I have to be honest, this statement did not sit well with me.

I suppose on one hand I get their point.  However you get to heaven, everyone that makes it will enjoy the same eternal reward.  Some make it in after a lifetime of faithful service.  Others are like the thief crucified next to Jesus, who made a death bed-last minute decision to believe.  He believed, and Jesus told him he would be with him in heaven that very day. On one hand, if you make it to heaven, you make it to heaven.