May 22, 2017 • Life for Leaders
“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
For most of my life, wells were something quaint, something found in photos of old ranches, something I didn’t have to think much about. Then my family and I moved to Texas, to a home that lay beyond the water system of our nearest town. The only way we could get water for drinking, cooking, and bathing was from a well on our property. Thankfully, I didn’t have to dig that well, since it went down several hundred feet through hard limestone. I’m glad to say the well was in place when we moved in and it functioned perfectly . . . until one day when it stopped working.
My family and I were out of town on vacation when we received an emergency call from our house sitter. The warning light on our well house was on. I knew that was bad news, so I called the company in town that had originally drilled our well. They came out to investigate. Sure enough, our well was not drawing water. The only solution was to pull up the well pump from deep in the earth and replace it.
Yes, that did cost a pretty penny. But we had no choice. By the time we returned home from vacation, our well was fully functional once again, supplying ample fresh water for our needs. Perhaps for the first time in my privileged life, I felt joyful to have fresh, clean water readily available to me. And, for sure, it was the first time I knew the joy of getting ample water from a well.
The writer of Isaiah 12 knew that feeling. Living in a land where water could be scarce, he knew the gladness of bringing up water from a well. He used this experience to represent the joy we can feel when we receive God’s salvation: “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (12:3).
Do you know this joy?
Remember, God’s salvation is not limited to our own personal, previous experience of salvation. We often and understandably focus on the salvation we received through Christ, through whom we were forgiven for our sin and given the gift of eternal life. Yet, this is only part of the salvation God offers. From a biblical point of view, God saves us in countless ways, offering us healing, hope, deliverance, and peace. Moreover, God’s salvation is not just for individuals. As Scripture makes clear, salvation includes reconciliation among divided and hostile peoples (see Ephesians 2, for example). It mends the breaches in relationships that we experience in family, work, church, and culture. In truth, God’s salvation touches much, much more.
So, when we take our first big drink of the water of salvation, we haven’t exhausted God’s supply. Rather, we are invited to continue to “draw water from the wells of salvation,” as God’s grace touches and transforms every part of life. When we do this, we will indeed rejoice!
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
Do you draw water from the wells of salvation? If so, in what ways? If not, why not?
Where do you need to experience more of God’s salvation in your life?
How is God’s salvation needed in your workplace? Your neighborhood? Your city? Your country?
Gracious God, first of all, thank you for saving us from sin and death. Your sacrifice on our behalf has given us eternal life, and we are deeply grateful.
Yet too often we merely take a sip of your salvation, rather than drinking deeply from your “wells.” I confess that my sins are forgiven in you, but then I live as if I have to make myself right for you. I enjoy the promise of heaven, but forget that your will is to be done on earth right now, even as it is in heaven. I receive your manifold gifts of salvation for myself, but neglect to share them with others. I rejoice in my own salvation, without participating in your saving work in this world. Forgive me, Lord, for failing to drink deeply from the fountain of salvation.
Help me to live each day in the rich blessings of your salvation. Stir in me, so that I might give them away generously to others, even as you have been so generous with me. May I be an instrument of your peace, grace, and love in this world. Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary: Wells and Water
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.
Hi, Mark. I’m back in Uganda, so my comments are delayed again, since I need to wait till the next day to read the devotions. In the fourth paragraph, you reference Psalm 12, yet the passage is from Isaiah 12.
I live in northern Uganda, about an hour south of South Sudan. The area has been suffering drought. The past two years, the town water supply has failed near the end of dry season. Long lines of people wait at wells, sometimes for hours, for their oppportunity to fill a five gallon jug with water. Contrasting that to our God’s generous supply from the wells of salvation is powerful. What pours from his well is abundant, unending, and free; no waiting in lines for a meager supply. May all praise and glory be to him, and may we be faithful in leading many to his overflowing supply of grace and mercy.