The well has run dry.
After five years of writing a weekly devotional column, I am struggling to come up with new ideas and fresh ways to express the wonderful truths of God’s Word.
This is a problem not uncommon among pastors. Week after week, month after month, year after year, we find ourselves staring at the soft glow of a computer screen, trying to figure out what to say in next Sunday’s sermon.
Writer’s block can afflict even the most creative of minds.
My problem, however, is not that the well has run dry. My problem is that I fail to go to the well. It happens to all of us at one time or another as pastors. We get busy – with meetings, family, youth soccer and ballet. We become lax in our personal Bible Study and family devotions.
Sure, we can coast for a while. Soon, however, our stories become stale. Our writing becomes rote. The well runs dry.
The remedy is obvious. As Jesus sat at on the edge of a deep well in the middle of the desert, he offered a stranger a well which would never run dry (John 4). He promises every believer that, as they dip their cup into the well, they will find “new treasures as well as old” (Matthew 13:52).
As I drink deep from the waters of God’s Word, I discover new treasures and truths I failed to see before. I see new applications to my life and the lives of others. As I drink deep from the waters of God’s Word, old truths are painted in new and vivid Technicolor.
Writer’s block, however, is not the only symptom of spiritual dehydration. Failing to drink deep from the waters of God’s Word dims our focus and resolve as Christians. Sure, we can coast for a while, but it soon affects the way we treat others, the decisions we make and our emotional well-being.
Like a lobster slowly dying in a pot as the water temperature rises, we often are blissfully unaware of the dehydrating of our faith. The devil convinces us that we are just fine, that we know the truth and it won’t hurt us if we get away from Church and his Word.
As we wade into this New Year, we all need to ask God to forgive us our spiritual lapses from last year. We need to drink deeply and often from the well of the God’s Word, from the promises of our Baptisms and from the blood of the Sacrament. There we will find the forgiveness, the strength and the help we need to face the wind and waves of the year to come.
So go to the well often this year and drink deep. It will never run dry.