Who is missing in your family? A Baby? A Dad? A Prodigal?
“Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor… Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.” Isaiah 54:1-2 ESV
Enlarge the house and build an addition for what? So you can feel your emptiness even more? make your empty space bigger? OUCH! And then go ahead and sing in that hollow house and hear the empty echo of your voice bouncing off the walls? Why does God stretch us in the very place we hurt most?
I was thinking about the Israelite’s complaining how thirsty they were – “Give me water…” Water is an honest need and yet they were judged for their complaint. Evidently they held an attitude of the heart that was off. I thought of my own thirst – the things I need and dream of. Then I thought about the woman of Samaria, Jesus said to her, “You should ask me and I would give you living water” and she responded, “You’ve got nothing to get water.” Isn’t that how I have so often responded at a heart level, “Jesus you don’t have what I need – I want more than just You” or maybe “Jesus, you’re holding back what I think I need.”
Who is missing in your family? What is your honest need? We know the drill so well – we go to Jesus again and again and yet our “empty tent” remains hollow. Do I come to Him looking to find Him… or the water I so desperately want?
As Jesus and the woman spoke at the well, she finally said, “Give me this living water so I won’t thirst AND so I won’t have to come here again…” Hmmm… seems like she still didn’t get the full picture. I want God to fill me so I won’t have to feel weak or needy and come to “this place” again. That indeed sounds like me! If I don’t need anything or anyone, that would be a good deal! Make me self-sufficient so I don’t have to come to this desolate place again.
But after more talk she actually left her vessel there! Have you ever noticed that? The one fragment of hope to quench her thirst and she just leaves it there! I find that I still cling to my cup even though it’s empty a lot of the time, it gives me hope of maybe getting water – but that should not be my hope! My hope needs to be in Jesus which means letting go of my hope in the cup. I keep snatching it back up and clinging to it in my attempt of self-preservation – thinking water is a basic need! We all need it! It’s OK to want it and need it!
But even this needs to be surrendered… and I don’t know how…
Jesus never grabbed the cup, He just talked with the Samaritan woman and He never even said “Give up the cup lady!” But she was thirsty for more and after spending time with Jesus she just suddenly forgot her cup! I don’t know how to forget my cup! But I do want more – I want more than my cup – and I want more than the water in that well. Do you want more than a happy and complete family? Let’s lift our eyes to even greater than the dream of a full tent!
I don’t want to remain thirsty or stuck in the desert with a bad attitude – I NEED Jesus! I need Him because there are times that other things seem bigger than Him – bigger than His filling, bigger than time spent with Him. I thirst and that consumes me at times and I even feel justified. I hold the cup of false hope when really Jesus is my living water to whom I need to come again and again to “this place”. So may I enlarge my tent and feel my thirst even deeper, that I may receive more of you Jesus! In “this place” of deepest pain and greatest longing, we may not find a well, a cup or the water we think we need so much, but we do find Jesus!
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6
Who is missing in your family? Just more of Jesus!
And as I find you in the waiting
let me wait longer still
when tempests blow on every side
until all of me is shaken
the leaves of my desires fall
disappear beneath the snow
and winter brings the death of me
still I wait and longer still
there seems no purpose in this season
nothing of me is left but still,
again I find you in unanswered prayers
hurry not and answer none but this
to wait for you, to long for you
and as I find you in the waiting
let me wait longer still…