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Day 8 of Lent: Come drink from my well

February 20, 2013

Verse for reflection: For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. Isaiah 44:4

The first home my husband and I owned had a cistern as its only water supply—very common in these parts of Virginia. But after living with it for six-seven years and enduring more waterless weekends than I’d like to remember (when we’d forgotten to order water from the water hauler and were too thrifty to pay the extra fee for weekend delivery), and with two children and hoping for a third, we were finally ready to dig our own well.

My husband was hoping to hit water by 250 feet but pessimistically predicted 500 feet at the most.

By the time we hit 600 feet, co-workers’ jokes about oil and China were getting stale. We begged the driller to try another hole, but he wanted to keep on where he was. As the droning rig tore ever further into our front yard, the incessant noise became a corkscrew impaling not only our budget but our nerves.

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I read about Jacob’s well-digging ventures in the Old Testament and suddenly felt a new respect for his patience with the well robbers (Gen 26:17-22).

But I didn’t feel right praying that we’d find water. That seemed like praying for a boy or a girl after the baby’s already been conceived. Enough faith may move mountains, but I didn’t want to worry the Almighty about personal stream moving. Yet I did pray for patience to survive frayed nerves, and peace not to worry about our stretched budget.

We drilled all the way to 925 feet. And finally we had water, almost twice as far as our most pessimistic prediction. To my family members who live in Indiana where 30- to 90 foot wells are the norm, 925 feet deep went beyond ridiculous to ludicrous. How would we ever pay for it?

My husband talked to the contractor who agreed to charge us for only 580 feet—the depth where we had urged him to try another hole. God hadn’t moved a stream but maybe had softened a contractor’s heart in compassion for a young, struggling family.

We celebrated like we were in some far-off country drinking from a newly dug village well. All over the world, so many walk many miles every day to obtain water. I vowed I would never take water for granted again.

But of course I do. But for this day of Lent, every time you turn on a tap or take a drink of water today, think of persons walking miles for their water. Think of the woman at the well in Samaria who met Jesus and found not only water, but a new source of life.

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Action: Thank God for your access to water—and to eternal life flowing from God, the giver of water—and life.

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See more on one Water project in Benin, and a book with gorgeous photography related to that project check here.

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From → Faith, Family Life

3 Comments
  1. Thank you for this reflection. We have two wells on our farm. One has water that has so much iron in it that it is rusty and the other well is good. I have no idea how far they had to dig to reach good water since it was already dug when we arrived.
    I couldn’t help but think of the WASH program in Africa that the royalties from Celebrations will be designated to and in the months that we have been prayerfully considering which program to support…I have often thought of those that long for clean water. One thing that is most important to us is that the project not only quench physical thirst but also that they would also be learning about Jesus who came to give life…the living water.

    • I had heard the royalties will go to WASH but hadn’t yet investigated what that was all about. That’s exciting–I really like the tie ins Mennonite Girls CC make to programs that will not only really do something signficiant, but especially benefit women, their families and the whole community really–and your emphasis on learning about the source of Living water. Thanks for the comment, Lovella.

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