Love is Returning

Every Tuesday morning, Wesley’s staff gathers to pray over what we feel like God is doing in the ministry, the campus, and the world at large. At our first 7:30 Prayer in August, the first one we’d had since March, I sat for a moment and asked God what His heart behind this year was, what He wanted to do. And I saw the phrase “love is returning” appear in my mind’s eye. Like a neon sign flashing over and over again, I kept seeing those three words together.
 
Love is returning.
Love is returning.
Love is returning.
 
Those words came back into my mind when I found out Wesley was doing a series about re-digging our wells with God. To me, the concept of re-digging our wells with God is a call of discovery and remembrance. It’s God’s invitation to us to experience and receive His love in a new way.
 
Last week, Bob talked about Isaac re-digging the wells of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up with debris. Genesis tells us that after moving to a new place, Isaac digs new wells and “discovers a well of fresh water”; later saying, “‘Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land’” (NIV Gen. 26:18-22).
 
Much like Isaac had to move and re-dig new wells because the Philistines had blocked Abraham’s wells with rocks and wood, I believe it’s possible for our owns wells with God to become blocked with religion, complacency, or outright spiritual attack. In other words, there are obstacles hindering us from experiencing God like we have in the past. When this happens, we’re left feeling lost and aimless in a dry desert looking to any and everything to quench our thirst. This goes on until we either dig new wells with God or process through the obstacles that blocked our original wells.
 
I saw this personally play out in my life during the months of quarantine. I was grieving my life pre-quarantine but also realizing how little of that life God was actively apart of. Yes, I went to Wesley on Wednesday nights. Yes, I participated in discipleship and my other ministry areas. Yes, I read my Bible and journaled somewhat consistently. I was doing all of those things because at one point or another in my life, I had come to know and encounter God through those things. But at some point along the way I started to let religion and routine seep into the wells that I had dug with God through relationship. It was painful and slow but those months in quarantine gave me a hunger to be with God solely for the reason that He is God and His very presence covers every dry and cracked part of myself.  
 
Now let me make one thing perfectly clear: I do not believe that there was ever a season in which God was absent or abandoned His people. Religion, complacency, spiritual attack, or any other possible obstacle are not a result of God being absent or withholding His love for us. Think of it like this, the water that Isaac was originally relying on didn’t suddenly disappear from the Earth. There was something simply standing in the way of him fully receiving the water like he once had. And when he realized this and began to dig new wells, the Lord blessed him in abundance.
 
God is more than willing to sit with us as we re-dig what has been covered or as we break ground into something new. It is not in His nature to withhold any good thing from His children. Likewise, He is not okay with us feeling lost and aimless in a dry desert. He wants us to dwell in the living water that is His presence.  We saw this to be true in Isaac’s experience of re-digging his wells, and I believe that the phrase “love is returning” is God’s promise to us as we accept His invitation to re-dig our own wells with Him.
 
God, thank you for being a Father who constantly pursues Your children. Thank you for being a Father who wants to give us more than anything we could ever create on our own. Thank you for being a Father who loves us so fiercely that we cannot help but be radically changed by it. For the parts of ourselves that have forgotten this about You, Jesus come in and restore them. Reveal any dry wells that we keep returning to. Fill us with courage as we start to dig again. Come in and be our Living Water.

Author | Ansley Davenport

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