All Writings

Broken Cisterns

The other day I was filling up a large plastic pitcher in my sink in order to water the potted flowers on our front porch. Once the pitcher was full, I lifted it from its resting place and began to carry it towards the door. In the process, however, the bottom of the pitcher suddenly broke open. Needless to say, water went e..v..e..r..y..w..h..e..r..e.

This motion picture of this broken pitcher (say that 5 times fast!) took my mind to a verse in the Bible that I later looked up:
My people have committed two sins: they have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Jeremiah 2:13

Wow, that’s quite a convicting verse. At the time it was written, God was both angry and grieved that His people were willing to hold onto false gods instead of Him; this was their first sin. And then this deliberate act lead to the second evil: the initial choice to turn away from God lead to a ongoing lifestyle of following these worthless idols.
Why would the Israelites exchange a spring of living water (GOD) for a rain-catching-hole dug in the ground (idols) ? And consequently, these self dug holes had holes…the dirty water just leaked right out…leaving them empty. I guess the real question is, why would we make this exchange?
So often, our flesh commits the same two sins that the Israelites did long long ago. I know I have been guilty of making the self-willed choice to turn away from the God that loves me intensely. And then, I also know that at one point in my life I spent years trying to fill up a broken cistern with the drip drops of a worthless idol. Thankfully, this striving did leave ME empty… and God was waiting.
If you are in the process of deliberately choosing another god (you name it, mine was “success”), or if you are already in the murky-midst of filling up your self-dug broken cistern, then hear these refreshing words of Life from the God who waits on high to have compassion on you:
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14
When I replace my plastic pitcher with a new one, and then fill it up to the brim with fresh life-giving water, I will say a prayer of thanksgiving over your heart and mine.