Where have you been? Where are you going? And why?
I sat in the room with responsibilities similar to that of a hockey defenseman: checking and intimidating rambunctious personalities into paying attention to a subject matter that piqued their curiosity slightly more than picking gum off the bottom of desks. Detention might have entertained them more than art lessons. Seeing as the Punisher (me) sat within striking distance, the detainees settled in to study paintings. I hoped to use the time to catch up on work that quickly piled high during a busy baseball season. Before I could engross myself, my ear caught bits and pieces of Erin’s explanation of “Well” as it drifted over the heads of the young scholars. I returned to her later for the full account to quench my thirst:
In the Pentateuch is the story of Hagar and Ishmael, Genesis 21:8-21. The whole story is quite an illustration of mercy and grace.
In this part of the story, the woman and her baby boy are banished. They travel across the wilderness until their water is used up, their food is eaten, and they have nothing to survive on. The mother hides her child under a bush for protection, and begins to cry. She believes they’ll both die of thirst out here.
At this point, when all hope was gone, an angel appears and tells them that God has promised they will not die. In fact, God has plans to make them into a great nation.
But that promise will take a long time to be fulfilled. So what does God do now to prove his future faithfulness?
“And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water, and gave the lad a drink.”
A well appears where there was none before. Today, they won’t be dying of thirst. How’s that for provision? Wow. As if to immediately prove he will make good on his promise, God provides for their immediate care.
A well is a source of water, the very thing we need desperately to survive. A good well is one connected to a deep source of clean water that you can always depend on yeilding buckets of water. This source of water is sustaining, refreshing, abounding, and ever-present.
Kind of like when God shows up, right? When our eyes are opened, and we see God for what He is, it is abundantly refreshing. We know where there is a deep and dependable supply of everything we need to not only survive, but help others survive as well. Never again will you be able to say you’ve run out of patience, hope, compassion, mercy, justice, or peace, because you know where to turn for an infinite supply.
Sometimes I forget this, and I think I’ve run out of what it takes to be good and helpful. I need to remember that this source is abundant, appearing anywhere I am—where I thought there was nothing.
There He is.