November 17, 2011

Filling My Bucket

Have you ever had one of those seasons where you know, I mean, you KNOW that God is trying to knock you over the head with something yet somehow you keep missing whatever it is He's throwing at you?

If you said no, I know your lying!  :-)

Let me start at the beginning.

Women's Retreat 2011.

Deidre started our retreat with a session about the woman at the well.  My mind automatically clicked back to a very similar Sunday School lesson a while back for the women and youth girls.  I remember the question being asked over and over, what's in your bucket?  It didn't take me long to realize, my bucket felt like this:

Not only did my bucket feel like it is filled with rocks, but it is heavy.  Burdensome.  And there is nothing else around it to fill it with. . .except more rocks.  I made up my mind that day that I wanted to dump my bucket and start over.

Back to the retreat. . .

The subject of the well brought those memories back.  I don't remember a lot about what Deidre said that night. . .I was too filled with conviction.  I sat in my seat and cried quietly for the entire time.  The entire time.  I heard her talking about the woman, about her past, her sins.  And about Jesus, looking beyond everything that the world sees, reaching deep, digging deep, to provide her with fresh clean water.  But not like water from here:
I mean water from here:
I went back to my room that night and cried well into the morning.  I cried until there were no more tears.  And I remember calling out to God, "OK Lord.  I hear you, I hear you.  But what am I supposed to DO with what I'm hearing??"

Fast Forward to October 2011

By God's intervention (I don't believe in coincidence anymore), I was able to snag 4 tickets to see Casting Crowns in concert in Greensboro.  I was at the right place at exactly the right moment!  Little would I know that they would be introducing their new CD.  Wanna guess what it's called????
Hi, Lord.  I see you're here again.  It's dummy me.  I feel you knocking and knocking at my brain again.  Uggggghhhhh.  What is WRONG with me??  What am I missing here?  My high school diploma and two college degrees aren't doing me any good here.  Common sense isn't helping any either. 

That night, for the very first time, I was introduced to a brand new song.  Part of it goes something like this:
"And all who thirst will thirst no more,
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the well."
Then, along comes Bible study.  Priscilla Shirer's One in a Million.

A study of Moses and his journey through the wilderness.

It's the story of Moses and his God-given challenge of freeing the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt and leading them into the promised land.  Thank you, Lord, for getting me away from that well stuff for a while--that was really starting to get me down.

Ha.  Ha.  Ha.  (Sometimes I do not appreciate God's sense of humor.)

The wilderness. 

The unknown. 

The desert.

Hmmmmm. . . .

So, let me get this straight.

Webster defines a "wilderness" as "an empty or pathless area."

And Moses' wilderness just happened to include desert areas.  As in, without water.  Or wells.

DING!!  DING!!  DING!!  Lord, I think I'm getting it. . .

I've spent a long time (years, probably) wandering.  Through my own personal desert.  Without the things that living water would use to fill my empty bucket.

Such as:

--Maybe I should trade out my financial worries. . . .
                                                       . . .for prayer and trusting in Him to take care of my needs.

        " But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Jesus Christ"  Philippians 4:19 

--Maybe I should trade things on TV that I really thought provided enjoyment. . .
                   . . .for things that are going to give me Spiritual fulfillment as well as enjoyment.

"Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints;
he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked."
Psalm 97:10

--Maybe those "friends" that I spent so much of my time trying to make happy. . .
           . . .weren't truly my friends at all.  Maybe I should trust God to send me a true friend 
           that cares for me as much as I care for them--without me having to change who I am.

 "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise:
but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."
Proverbs 13:20

--Maybe all of those books that I was reading that I thought were great. . .
                     . . .would be time better spent reading things that will make me appreciate my  
                          blessings and love my Father more than ever!

 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you."
Philippians 4:8-9

--Maybe the music that used to make me want to sing and clap. . .
                                . . .would be more beneficial to me if I changed it to music that made me
                                     want to raise my hands and praise His name.

 "O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise
to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving,
and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms."
Psalm 95:1-2

--Maybe the time I spend complaining about the kids with issues in my classroom
                                             . . .should be spent praying for them and their families by name.

"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another,
that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a r
ighteous man availeth much."
James 5:16

And now, I am filling my thoughts, my mind, and my soul with my Bible and books like these:
And people like this:
And music from here:
And as I continue to read and study God's word, and praise Him for His many blessings, I want my bucket to be filled with this:
and this. . .

And I want to encourage others to do the same. . .


Deidre said...

Wow!!!! Best post ever. Truly. I love when God confirms things in our hearts over and over and over AGAIN!

Piper said...

I love this Lynn!! Allow HIM to do a mighty work in you!