Home > Christianity, Faith > Broken Cisterns, Empty Wells and Living Water

Broken Cisterns, Empty Wells and Living Water

Down the hill from the house I grew up in stood an old cabin.  It belonged to my grandfather, full of junk.  It may have been one hundred years old by the time I was born.  Weeds and vines had overtaken it, making it a ripe haven for copperheads.  I was told to not go around it, but that wasn’t why.

There was old cistern to the left of it when we faced it.  It sat between the cabin and the small plot my parents dug up one year and planted potatoes.  Based on my behavior when I was young, my parents feared that I would prowl around it and fall into the cistern.  Their fears were probably legitimate since they had found their two-year old sitting on the roof one day, having climbed a ladder leaning against the house.

When I was old, we cleaned up around that cabin and pulled the cover off of the cistern.  No water was in it.  It was in a state of disrepair, cracked and leaky.  Even at that age, I would not have wanted to fall in.  Whenever, I read about the broken cisterns in Jeremiah, memories of this one flood into my mind


Some days, I just don’t have it.  No matter what I try to do, I just can’t make “IT” happen.  Whatever motivational tricks I have learned over the years fail me.  There just isn’t any umph in anything I do.  It doesn’t matter if it’s trying to write a blog post, read my Bible, work out, or just plain work.  Here’s something I’ve figured out.

It’s usually because I’m trying to do it on my own.


Whenever I try to rely on my own power, I find myself thirsty.  Thirsty for what will refresh me.  And I try to do everything I can do to get a drink.

Sometimes I will return to a broken cistern.  When I gaze in, they are mostly empty.  There may be some remains of water in them, but it is tepid and contaminated.  Drinking it puts me at risk.

I might go to a well that has run dry.  It could be  a season of drought and all that comes up, at best, is some damp mud.  Definitely nothing worth drinking.

What do I do then?


I need to return to the Living Water.  The source of Life.  Life Himself.  Strip off the stuff that is hindering me.  Get rid of even good stuff that is interfering with my relationship with Him.  Cling to the Vine, the source of Abundant Life..

Jesus.  Christ.  Lord.

That won’t make everything suddenly rosey.  But it will make life doable.  I’ll be able to move on.  Daily.

Ever found yourself trying to drink from broken cisterns or empty wells?

  1. August 28, 2013 at 5:16 am

    yes, especially when I have been running on empty but don’t realize it until I try to go to the well.

  2. August 28, 2013 at 8:43 am

    “Here’s something I’ve figured out. It’s usually because I’m trying to do it on my own.” Bingo! That’s what I usually figure out too.

  3. August 28, 2013 at 9:38 am


  4. August 28, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Yes–it’s so unsatisfying that I wonder why it keeps happening.

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