“For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:11,13
I grew up going to church from infancy. I heard the stories in the Bible several times. And had them portrayed on felt boards. Yes, way before projector screens and YouTube videos!!
But it wasn‘t until I was 16 that the gospel penetrated my heart.
Previous to that time I had definitely hewed out cisterns, broken cisterns, that did not hold water.
I grew up in a rougher part of town. The fact that there were drug dealers living on my street, a old white man who lived across the street who would sit outside with his shot gun ready to shoot any “wet back” that got on his property, and a several other dangerous aspects...I wanted to get out as soon as possible.
By the way, I am part Mexican so I was definitely on the old mans hit list.
Seriously. I’m not making this up.
Me and my brother would taunt him and ride on his sidewalk because we knew he didn’t own it. He would just shake his gun at us. I doubt we would be so brave today.
By age 14 I had already realized that life on the other side of town seemed less dangerous and more appealing. Nicer houses, picket fences, and families that seemed to be in tact.
When I was 11 my mom took a job in another city so that she could continue to provide for us. My dad didn‘t follow suit leaving me and my brother to live with him (my two older sisters were basically already out of the house). Long story and one I didn’t come to truly understand until I was 31 years old. But that’s another story for another day.
Bottom line is my pursuit to make a name for myself and be accepted on the other side of town began early. But no matter how hard I tried I just kept creating more and more hurt for myself. Nothing was satisfying my longing to be known and accepted.
Until...I found Jesus.
I had heard about him all my life but I finally understood Him and His love and His mercy the summer of 1988.
Did my pursuit of “the American Dream” stop?!
I still longed for the white picket fence, the cozy home, the perfect family.
But here is what I have come to realize in my 31 years of walking with Jesus...it doesn’t matter what side of town you live on, we are ALL broken people and need a Saviour.
I am still the same no matter what side of town I live on, a sinner saved by grace with a propensity to make everything about “me”.
I have a tendency to exchange the glory of the living God for another when I start focusing on myself.
Satan is waging war all over town and is doing his best to make sure we make a name for ourselves and forget about the One who created us.
Don't do it.
Return to Him.
“If you return, I will restore you.” - Jeremiah 15:19
Yes! This is what I want, more of Jesus and less of me.
And for His name sake will I go and embrace the story and the purpose for which He prepared in advance for me...to proclaim His name in ALL of Jerusalem, Judea, and to the ends of the Earth (thank you social media).
I want to scream from the mountain tops that we have a God who is about restoring and redeeming His broken people.
And we are ALL broken people who need to return to Him who is the fountain of living water.
You can know Him today. Acknowledge Him as Creator, Lord, and Saviour. Ask Him to be the Lord of your life and He will give you His Spirit to live according to His good purpose.
You will become a new creation in Christ. Your life will begin to transform. And one day you will look back and say, “only God could do that!”