“How could you do that to me? I thought I could trust you! We were supposed to be friends. I can’t believe you said that. What do you mean ‘I’m too messed up’? … If you have ever thought or said any of these things, I have good news. You are just like the rest of us. We’ve all been there.
We all have a wellspring of love and hope stored into our hearts. Jesus says in John 4:13-14, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Are you welling up with eternal life? Are you allowing others to be drenched in that same hope and love that He has covered you with? For a lot of us, the answer to both would be no.
I believe one of the main reasons we are not showering others with the Living Water is because we have been burned. We allow the wrong kind of people to affect our lives in unhealthy ways. This can affect our mood, our countenance, our day and the way we approach others. Brick by brick we allow them to build a dam of negativity and hurt around our hearts. They feed our heart an unhealthy diet of past failures and broken memories. We let them dam up any hope or love we have for the outside world into a pool of loneliness and defeat. And eventually the bricks of bitterness and insecurity separate our hearts from the world outside. So how do we break down the walls and allow Christ to flow through?
Forgiving others (and yourself) is a great way to let love flow. The mortar that keeps the bitterness and hurt together is unforgiveness. We cannot forgive ourselves for our mess ups and we cannot forgive others their trespasses against us. When you hold grudges and anger trying to win, you lose. Sometimes to salvage a relationship you need to take the high road and humbly take responsibility for your part in the fight. Pray for those that have hurt you. It is hard to stay bitter when you are lifting up that situation in love to God.
Earlier this summer, I went on an incredible three-day float trip on the Eleven Point River in southern Missouri. On our second night we stopped to camp at Boze Mill (see photo). The natural spring here pumps more than 12 million gallons of water into the river every day. And that got me to thinking about the springs of our hearts.
Like a spring dammed up with bricks our hearts have experienced a dam of emotional blockage. Like the spring water to the dam I was sitting on at Boze Mill, if we allow love to erode our hurt and hardened hearts one brick at a time our lives will be forever changed. And changed lives … change lives. When hope busts through that wall we allow new life to impact a stagnant world.