Empty and Dry at the Well of Encouragement

First, the best perspective…

Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop:
but a good word maketh it glad.

– Proverbs 12:25

There are few physical feelings as hard to endure as thirst, especially intense thirst. The mouth is dry, the lips are parched, the body craves moisture, and it’s all the thirsty one can think about. Without water the body weakens, the internal organs begin to shut down, and this leads to pain, suffering, and eventual death.

In a spiritual sense, there are times when a person thirsts for a word of encouragement. They are weak, weary, and desperate for a drink from the well. During these dry days, an encouraging word would
be most welcome, but sometimes those who thirst for the needed drink of encouragement arrive at the well, but they discover that
the well is empty and dry.

Dry Empty Well
Great discouragement when the well of refreshment is empty and dry
Photo from the blog ‘108 Jordanian Nights
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Perhaps you have seen and experienced the empty well.  In the midst of trial or difficulty, you arrived at what you thought was the place of encouragement – often a trusted friend, but what you needed wasn’t available. Instead, in your time of need, what you experienced was an empty well. Dryness. Discouragement. You peered hopefully into the depths of their spiritual well at a time of need, but what you received was a trite, silly, or pointless comment that gave you nothing by way of refreshment. The well was dry and the cool refreshing water of encouragement you needed was not to be found.

So then, where does one go for the water of spiritual refreshment and renewal? Scripture tells us, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters…” (Isaiah 55:1). The best place to find spiritual renewal and refreshment during times of discouragement is in the presence of the Lord Himself. Renewed strength and blessing comes from time spent in prayer and in His Word. This is the one sure place where the cool waters of refreshment are available – every moment of every day.

But there are times when you and I – human beings created by God – need an encouraging word from a friend or close family member. We naturally seek out the gracious comments from those who are close to us, or even an acquaintance. Some people are particularly gifted and more than adept at filling this role in our lives. They are good listeners, empathetic, and filled with wisdom. They help us to feel renewed and refreshed – strengthened to carry on – even while we
remain in the midst of our problems.

There are other times when you and I have the opportunity to act as the source of refreshment. It’s our turn to serve as the well, to give of ourselves. We can provide others  with the cool sweet water of great encouragement to help when they are in the desert time.

People come our way and what they need -sometimes desperately – is a few quiet moments at the well. They need a good long drink of cool sweet refreshing water that ministers deeply to their need and prepares them to carry on.  They require a time of refreshing, that which provides them with the spiritual strength to continue.

Well, what do you have in your well these days? What can you offer to those who are distressed, discouraged, or downhearted? Are you willing to take the time to offer the required help, though it may not
be convenient in the moment? Do you have an encouraging word to share or some wisdom to impart? Is your well filled up with the cool
water… ready and available for the one who has need?

Look for the opportunity even today. You can be the refreshment that the Lord has prepared for a troubled and weary wanderer!

Refreshing Well
Encouragement at the well of refreshment
Photo from Bloomberg.com

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© Jeffery J. Michaels / Plain English Publications 2015

(Quotations allowed with attribution to this blog)