We made our way down the dirt trail following village locals on a well-traveled path. Passing us were women and children with five gallon buckets of water on their heads.
We were heading to the water source for much of the community of Bukabwa, a village of 5,000 people in Tanzania, East Africa.
As we approached the little reservoir, a line had formed as villagers waited their turn to dip their buckets into the water and get their family’s water supply for the day. We walked up to the banks where we could see the actual water that these people would drink, cook with and use for cleaning.
It was brownish gray.
Certainly not something I would ever drink from, but it was all that these people had. But imagine if Bukabwa had a fresh spring that gave clean, clear drinking water in abundance. Imagine if that life-giving resource was available but the people ignored it and continued to draw their water from the reservoir. We would think that was crazy. Why on earth would anyone utilize stagnant, dirty water when they could have something fresh and pure?
This is kind of like the word picture that God paints for us in Jeremiah chapter two. Verse 13 says, “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Cisterns were typically dug out in the ground and then lined with some kind of plaster to keep it from leaking. A community would then use them to store water. God says Israel shifted its trust and source of sustenance from Him to themselves, substituting as it were fresh water for stagnant. And not only that, says the Lord, but even their efforts to contain the stagnant water was futile. The cracks in the cistern meant that that more water they poured in the more water escaped.
It was a losing proposition. They could never get ahead by trusting in their cisterns.
Each day, you and I have a decision to make. We can get in line with the rest of the world to drink from the stagnant, polluted resources of the world around us, or we can turn to the Spring of Living Water. We can choose to trust in what God offers or we can choose to go it alone, try to build our own life, and solve our own problems. The people of Bukabwa do not have a choice in their water supply. But they, like us, do have a choice when it comes to who or what we will trust in for our lives and to see us through each day.
What will be your water source for today?
Frank Banfill is an international speaker, leadership developer, and president of MaxPoint Ministries (www.maxpoint.org) which seeks to help individuals and ministries realize their full potential in Christ. Please forward this to your family & friends. To get Frank’s devotionals delivered free to your inbox, or to request reprint rights, visit www.FranksBibleBlog.com.