The Well - Brinnae Keathley
I always ended up laying in the same spot. To the right of my bed was a plot of carpet, that at just the right time in the afternoon, would be flooded with sunlight. I felt the woven fabrics begin to make their impression on my face. I examined the taupe fibers speckled with darker browns and reds as my body finally relaxed and I drew a deep breath. All my afternoons were spent like this. As a new believer, the term “quiet time” was always ambiguous to me. How do you “spend time with Jesus," what are “devotionals,” and what does His presence actually feel like? All I could think of was to talk to Him; to confide my thoughts and feelings. I saw patterns throughout Scripture of His people lying prostrate before Him, so I daily returned to my favorite stretch of bedroom carpet. That sunlit patch served as my high school altar, and as I’ve branched out into adulthood I ponder what eternal significance it served. It hasn't taken me long to realize how often I drew from those moments to which I am still reaping the dividends of investments today.
There are seasons of life when you feel the Lord drawing you near. There’s a pull from the Holy Spirit towards His Word and His Kingdom and you feel confident it won’t be satisfied by your normal activities. I sensed early on in my faith that if I wasn’t persistent in His presence at that moment, I never would be. As I speak with Jesus, these times have come to be known as “reservoirs” — the wells where I draw my strength and wisdom.
In Ancient Near Eastern culture, to tap into a reservoir was a massive undertaking. You first had to dig the well essential for survival, which played a critical role in both social and economic welfare. Abraham and Isaac dug wells as memorials to what God had done for them. Wells were often dug at the same time as altars and were named according to the occasion for which they were dug. In Genesis 26, Isaac re-digs the wells that had been stopped up by Abraham’s enemies. The well was the life-source of a community; people longed to drink from the well in their hometowns as it brought a sense of comfort and home.
The word “well” is used interchangeably throughout the psalms with “fountain,” “source,” and “spring.” Springs are pictures of healing throughout Scripture; the promised places for those who find their strength in the Lord (Ps. 84:5-6). Water is a symbol of life and refreshment; a necessary sustenance not only for physical living but for spiritual vibrancy.
Every Christian searches for strength, understanding, or comfort from the pivotal seasons that have shaped their faith. We all have our wells. Some were dug many years ago, and as you reach to draw from them, you scratch the cracked earth and find the waters are depleted. Others are drawing from more recent wells, but finding that the water you’ve drawn is stale and doesn’t satisfy your present thirst. Then there are those who are disciplined to dig; they memorialize each place they’ve walked with Jesus — each beautiful, miserable, purposeful, and mundane destination. The enemy of our souls seeks to steal, kill, and destroy; to make us into what the Apostle Peter titled the false prophets of his age — “waterless springs” (2 Pet. 2:17). He seeks to stop up our wells and discourage us from attempting to ever dig again.
I find myself still drawing from the wellspring I established early on. There have been situations that have emerged in life where I felt the answer had already been drawn up in the well. There have also been occasions when I felt out of my element, drawing from the well and realizing its depth wouldn’t suffice, and that I needed to return to the digging process.
Don’t be satisfied to pull only from yesterday’s reservoir. Lean into Jesus, pick up your tools, and begin to dig anew. Mark this season in life with a well that you may draw from for years to come. May this year be a banner for you because Jesus is the fountain of life (Ps. 36:9) and he quenches every thirst for eternity (John 4). The stewardship of your present makes room for God to move mightily in the future, producing glory for His name and solidifying your practiced faith. The richest seasons in your life will not happen at random; they will begin when you break the fallow ground and dig deep to find new wellsprings of living water.
Brinnae is a gifted worship leader on staff at Red Rocks Church in Denver, Co. Her favorite things are coffee, mashed potatoes, hardcore music, 90's slow jams, and her husband James' face! Check out the latest album "Into the Light" released by Brinnae and the RRC worship team, now available on iTunes.