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Well water

So many times we look for answers trying to figure out if something is "right for us" to be doing, or if it will accomplish what it is we are aiming to finish. In trying to reason out the response we will make or the steps we will take, we oftentimes find ourselves drawing from "the well" within - the knowledge we have "saved up" over time - and we don't even know we are doing it. It comes from having experienced things, storing up the "cause and effect" knowledge which comes from experience after experience. For instance, we experience disappointment when the ice cream cone melts away while we doddle in eating it down in the hot Arizona sun. The next time we purchase one, we might recall the knowledge we formed through the last experience - eating this one much quicker so it doesn't become a gooey mess. This is knowledge formed on understanding the "cause and effect" principle - ice cream is only enjoyed if the sun doesn't melt it first! Touch a hot stove once and you are reluctant to do it again! Lose money in the stock market and you are wary or cautious where you invest it again. Cause and effect - lessons learned.

Knowing what is right is like deep water in the heart; a wise person draws from the well within. (Proverbs 20:5 MSG)

Not every lesson we learn comes in an 'easy' manner though, does it?  We see a whole lot of "effect" in our lives, but there are just times when the "cause" is sometimes quite hidden and hard to grasp (at least in our estimation). When this happens and we don't see the immediate insight from the moment at hand, we might say we did not learn from this experience or our past experience.  We sometimes even repeat the failure over and over again. In time, if we are paying attention still, we might see a little link between cause and effect in our behavior, attitude, or ability to resist temptation - but it comes at a cost we'd rather not have had to endure. The delay in 'seeing' the cause has resulted in substantial 'cost'. Our writer suggests knowing what is right is like deep water - stored up in the heart to be drawn upon when we need it. Stop for a moment to consider a well and you might just observe a few things that may help.

- A well is a storage or repository location, much in the same way God expects our hearts to be a storage or repository location for his wisdom. Knowledge only becomes wisdom when it is applied. In other words, we have to act upon what we know if it is to affect the "cause". We can 'store up' all manner of things, but if they are never put into use, they are merely useless tidbits of information. The heart is really more than the physical muscle of circulation in our body - it is the part of our brain which connects will and emotion to every action / reaction we exhibit. Therefore, every action or reaction is affected by what is stored deep within our "heart". Storage only occurs when there is regular and consistent input. A well is renewed when the rains collect over time and come frequently enough to allow renewal of the well - our hearts are renewed when the Holy Spirit of God himself "rains" afresh in our lives.

- A well is meant to be drawn from, to provide refreshment and renewal. No one draws from a well to just look at the water. The water drawn from the well is for a purpose - either we drink it, bathe in it, or use it to water something for future growth. God expects the knowledge we store up in our "wells" to be used much in the same way. We can find refreshing for our weary soul in the knowledge of his guidance and comfort in rough times. There is renewal which is brought to our mind, will and emotions when the knowledge is allowed to wash us and make us clean. The ability to produce further growth is only possible when what we already store up is used to further this growth. Wells 'store', but they also act as a 'resource' for times when there is need in our lives.

- A well can be polluted, either through non-use or the haphazard introduction of something which has the power to "taint" the waters. Much in the same way, when knowledge is just taken in, never drawing it out, it becomes stagnant. The purpose of knowledge is found best when it is put into use. When we allow "mixed" knowledge to affect us - the type which we don't test against the word of God to examine it for alignment / congruence - we might get a little "tainted" in our application of the knowledge. It might be applied - but when applied incorrectly, it has a "sour" effect. It produces something far different than what God intends with 'pure knowledge'. Wells that are polluted are not a pleasure to draw from because the effect of that which is drawn up isn't going to produce very good results.

Whether we use knowledge because we have come to possess it through experience, or simply as a result of some repeated failure, we are drawing from a well within. What's in your well today - how's the 'water' down there? Is there sufficient drawing from that well to keep it from growing stagnant? Is there sufficient renewal of the well with a fresh input from the Spirit on a regular and consistent basis? Is the well as deep as it could be? Remember, you may "hit water" the first few feet you dig a well - but the most flavorful and purest of water oftentimes is found at the deepest point! Well water is just well water until it is drawn out of the well! Just sayin!

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