Reading: Jeremiah 2: 4-13
Where do you get your sense of worth? Where is it from that you draw confidence, peace, and contentment? Where do you turn in time of trial, stress, or temptation? The answers to these questions will reveal much about your faith and your relationship with God.
Jeremiah is writing to a people who have turned away from God. The people have strayed from God and have turned to worthless idols. They have defiled the land with altars to foreign gods. They have put their trust in “broken cisterns” – in their own power and might. In this sense they have made themselves gods.
Like the people of Jeremiah’s day, we also turn to idols. We look to our bank accounts and retirement investments for reassurance that all is well in life. Instead of building altars to foreign gods, we park shiny new toys in our driveways and garages. In these we see our own worth. We see our name on the door of our office with its fancy title and think we are content. But when a storm rolls in we turn to alcohol or drugs to dull the pain or to TV or the internet to numb the mind. Too often God is a last resort, a desperate prayer when we have exhausted all other options.
Soon enough the shiny becomes dull, the title just isn’t what it once was, and the ways to cope don’t seem to be working anymore. We feel lost and stuck at the same time. All the while the Holy Spirit has been present, trying to turn us outward instead of inward, to look to the only way, truth, and life instead of everywhere else. Even in our most self-centered moments, God does not give up, does not stop loving us, does not stop reaching out. It is a live beyond our understanding.
At some point we all come to sense that our peace, contentment, and joy cannot come from the things of this world. They are all temporary. At some point we all get to this place. It is a place of silence, of being alone. It is a place where all else is stripped away. It is where we meet God. Maybe it is ‘again’ for some, maybe it is the first time for others. It is here, in this place of solitude, that the living water seeps in through all the cracks in our brokenness. It is here that we begin to find peace, contentment, and joy. But our cracks remain. We are imperfect creations. We will lose our focus and fall back to the things of this world. We will stray from God and our souls will become dry. But our God is never done with us. This living water is always seeking to seep back in, to fill us up. Always. It is a love beyond our understanding.
This day and every day, may we enter the silence, draw near to God, and confess our sins. This day and every day, may we invite God in so that the living water will fill us up.