Digging a deep well

I turned on the faucet, but nothing came out. I had anticipated this for years, and today was the day my fears were realized. We weren’t hooked up to city water, and without our well working, there was simply no water – no baths, no brushing of teeth, nothing to drink, nothing.

This all happened about twenty years ago. It was our first house, a starter home in a lovely part of town. Newly married, we bought on a budget and with that modest purchase came some eccentricities that accompany older homes. Mushroom wallpaper, a huge yard with old trees, and free spring water from the well in our backyard were among the perks.

Only I knew that the well was old, the pump tired, and one day it would give out. And it did. Fortunately, I had a good friend who knew all about these sort of things. We pulled the well pump a good eighty feet out of the earth, diagnosed and repaired the problem, and plunged it back into the deep hole. Click, whirr, the sound of a pump doing its work, before long I had running water once again.

I remember this experience well and it taught me much. The spiritual life is likened to a well many times in the Bible. The digging process, the water, the drinking, it all says something to us.

A well-known Old Testament passage reads this way: “Then Israel sang this song: ‘Spring up, O well! Sing to it!’ The well, which the leaders sank, which the nobles of the people dug, with the scepter and with their staffs.”

Jesus picks up this idea in the New Testament in John chapter four: “The water that I will give will become in you a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

Both of these texts allude to God being our sole source of sustenance. Water is used throughout the Bible to symbolize life, growth, and blessing. Where water is, thirst is quenched. Jesus fills the void in us with his living water, and it never runs out.

But, work. Work is involved. Beyond humbling ourselves and trading our empty wells for his well of living water, we must also steward that well. Back to the children’s song. We don’t just stand there and drink the water, at least not every time. The woman at the well had to repent and go deal with her sinful life. The Israelites had to dig.

The allegory continues, especially if you know anything about real-life well digging. From my experience described above, I learned that the first forty feet down was earth and rock. Forty feet is a long way to go before you hit water. Once there, it would be easy to stop and take the easy road. But wisdom says dig deep, go twice as deep as necessary. We are people of depth. The deeper we go, the more water there is for us. Hard work, yes – but hard work means a deeper well, which means more water.

For you and I, this translates to the main and plain of the spiritual life. It means I dig deep, as it were; I do the hard work that is required to find the good stuff. I do the dishes even though it’s my wife’s turn. I am patient with my children even though they act so childish. They are children, after all.

I invest my money in things other than my own wants and pleasures. When it comes to my love for the Lord, digging a deep well means I prize my Bible and read it often. Church life becomes a priority, not a casual convenience. Strangers get treated like they might be angels. And so on.

It was muddy work and I was sore the next day, but we had water again. Who would have thought that eighty feet below my house there was a spring of fresh, delicious mineral water? I slept that night in awe and wonder of what lay below me.

May we carry the same thirst, diligence, and eagerness as we seek Jesus, the well of living water that will never run dry.

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We also meet every Sunday at 10:00 am to worship God together, and throughout the week in home groups all over the city. Please click the link to the left for a complete schedule of home groups.

Our Community

At VCC, we believe that church is not a function: it is a family. Our religion is only as alive as we are, the people that pursue it. So, rather than acting as an organization, we want to act as an organism. We have no time for casual contacts and meaningless formalities. We are a fellowship on an adventure towards the stuff of God. Church means worshipping God together, studying the Bible together, fixing our cars together, hiking together, eating together, playing together, praying together... enjoying the warmth of the Holy Spirit in all parts of our lives together, not just in appointed meeting times.