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the water cycle

On a rainy Monday afternoon, the mail came and someone handed me a stack of envelopes. "Payday for you" - he said. I had wondered all morning whether I was doing the "right things" in life - if my priorities where were they were supposed to be, and if so-and-so thought I was doing the right things, and whether or not it mattered what they thought, and my attitude had showed it. The uncertainty I felt was almost entirely self-inflicted, caused by thinking too much of myself and too little of God, for starters. I was feeling let down, entitled, frustrated, and angry when the pile showed up on my desk.

The first was a thank-you note from Mexico. The second was a physical check; compensation for a every-once-in-a-while job I do in an effort to serve the Spanish-speaking population in the U.S. And the third was a note of encouragement from a friend, along with a gift card for an easy way to put supper on the table "for the day when I have too much packed in the schedule" (which for me, is always). Each piece of mail represented an area of my life where I felt question marks. Priorities? Scheduling? Gifts? Talents? Relationships? Personality? Service? What do I do with the God-given water in my metaphorical pitcher? What of His work has He created me to do? And how has He created me to do it? All of those places and people on those postmarked envelopes, I had poured some of my water into, but I was empty when the mail came that day.

God knew that. He saw me at the well... seeking affirmation from others to be assured that I was on the right track in life, but truly needing more of Him instead. By his grace, I did realize right away that His provision met my need, but it took me over 24 hours to fully accept what He was offering. Like the woman at the well, I was seeking, but unlike the woman at the well, my pride still prevented me from fully surrendering to the provision of the Lord. Satan would have me to believe, still, that it was more fulfilling to expend my energy mentally blaming others for my lack than to allow God to erase that lack. It is difficult to admit that we have need; it is further difficult to allow Christ to meet that need, because we know He didn't deserve to carry that burden but is willing to do so. We'd rather see someone "served right", burdened by the way we feel they've failed us. Christ is willing to bear the Cross so that we and others do not have to do so, and it is incredibly humbling.

Jesus' life exemplified that He truly believed Isaiah 55:10-11.

For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

The things that we do in humble obedience to the Lord, not letting our left hand know what our right hand is doing, from the daily dishes to the difficult relationship to the dying-to-self, we do from a place of understanding that we are simply pouring that water back into the very ground it came from. His Word, His living water, goes out in our pitchers for the sole purpose of being used for His glory. The water comes only from Him, so if I feel I do not have enough, it is my job to draw from His well... to admit to my lack and allow Him to be the abundance.

In my times of deep need, He spoke truths into my life that I found myself recycling back out in a conversation with a struggling friend today. I stepped back with my clay pitcher, my earthen vessel, and watched the water cycle in action, humbled by the myrtle tree I saw growing God's glory. (II Corinthians 4:7, Isaiah 55:13)

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Hi, I'm Hannah.

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