How “The Wateringwell” originated.
Many years ago, I read an article about the meaning of watering wells in the Bible. It was the perfect analogy for a blog idea I had been developing and so the seed for “The Wateringwell” was planted.
The concept was confirmed again a while later when I read John 7:38 “Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him”. Jesus was referring particularly to the Holy Spirit here but in my mind, I heard the words “You are my vessel, from you I will pour out water for my people.”
As Christians, those words are applicable to all of us who share the truth of God’s word to edify and uplift His people. For me, it was particularly relevant to the place I wanted to create, where women specifically, could meet to be encouraged and refreshed.
Water is an essential and integral part of our lives, a Resource for survival. It is mentioned at least 722 times in Scripture, from the opening lines of Genesis to the final chapter in Revelations. It is discussed in various forms and used many times as an analogy.
I love the reference to a woman’s beauty seen in Song of Songs 4:15 “You are a garden fountain, a wall of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon”.
Purpose of Biblical Wells
Wells or cisterns as they were sometimes called, are often mentioned in the Bible. In Biblical times, wells were a meeting place and the center of the community. It was the duty of the town’s women to go and collect water for the household, a practice that is still carried out in some places today. The wells were a place for the women to gather, talk and socialize, much like we do today when we meet our girlfriends at a coffee shop.
A place of learning
These gatherings were also a place of learning. Through their duties and interactions, young women were taught customs, manners, and responsibility.
There were some significant events which took place at or near a well. Abraham’s servant met Rebekah at the well when he was seeking a wife for Isaac (Genesis 24:15-18) And who could forget the encounter that Jesus had with a Samaritan woman at a well? (John 4:1-26) Here we see the well as a site for divine revelation too.
In Genesis 21:19, when Hagar had used the last of her water and was filled with despair, God opened her eyes so that she saw the well that was right next to her. The water saved her life. So consumed by her pain, she hadn’t seen it before. This so often happens to us when we are depleted of energy and exhausted, we don’t see the solution even when it is right in front of us.
Landmarks and Hiding places
We read of instances where wells were used as landmarks to guide weary travelers or as hiding places, to provide safety.
In fact, wells were so important, there was sometimes conflict and contention over them. See Genesis 21: 25-31 and Genesis 26:15-22. If you wanted to defeat your enemy, you blocked or poisoned his well. Abraham had to barter with Abimelech to get his well back and to this day the site at Beersheba is a tourist attraction. Similarly, in our lives, the enemy tries to hinder us by distracting us off from God and the things that sustain us.
Functions of Biblical water
In the Bible, God uses water as an analogy to describe the salvation He promises us, through His son Jesus. (John 4:5-15). Jesus, (the life-giving water) died so that we may be cleansed of our sins and saved into eternal life.
God restores our souls through His Holy Spirit. When we are parched and dry from the trials of life, He provides rejuvenating water in those barren and desolate places. Isaiah 43:19,20 “I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland…to give drink to my people, my chosen”.
When we feel overwhelmed, in trouble and drowning in our circumstances, He reaches down from on high and rescues us. “He draws us out of deep waters”. 2 Samuel 22:17.
The Bible tells us that we will be refreshed and renewed. We are refreshed through God’s word, prayer and by spending time in His presence. This image is captured so beautifully in Psalm 23:2 “He leads me beside quiet waters”. I know when life gets too chaotic, I yearn to sit quietly beside a stream or pond. Don’t you?
There is little that both soothes and revitalizes quite like a fountain, waterfall, river or ocean.
Our Personal Wells
Our personal wells, in other words, the resources we draw our energy from, can be both physical and spiritual. The spiritual wells that replenish and fulfill us may be Church life, God’s word, prayer, family, friends or even our work depending on what it is. Physical wells are namely the food we eat, relaxation time and a healthy lifestyle.
Of course, there are also the ‘bad wells’, which are areas of our lives that have become dry, tainted or poisoned and not good for our well being. They present in various forms and may even masquerade as something good, but at the end of the day leave us depleted and stressed out. It is important that we are mindful of where and what we are drawing from.
How is your well?
Jesus is the ultimate well from which we draw our strength. “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14. You may rest in that blessed promise. No matter how dry we are, He will always provide refreshment and the nourishment we need.
God warns us in Jeremiah 2:13 “My people have committed two sins: they have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns (wells), broken cisterns, that can hold no water”.
We are often responsible for getting ourselves into predicaments. The good news is that God does not hold it against us and is always there to give us a hand up and out of the miry pit.
Purpose of The Wateringwell
I counsel many exhausted women who struggle with everyday challenges. They are desperate to talk and seek advice but don’t have anybody they can share with. Everybody around them seems to be fighting their own battles, so instead of asking for help, they keep quiet and bottle it up. They may ‘manage’ the burden for a while but eventually, it becomes too much to bear.
We are facing a growing number of women who are barely functioning. Through conversations in the corridors of work, the counseling room and amongst friends, I have realized that women need a place where they can recharge. Here at The Wateringwell, we aim to do that by providing:
- Weekly blog posts to encourage and motivate.
- A Facebook page for daily inspiration and communication
- Private Facebook group to share and support one another
- Lifestyle courses
- One on one coaching
- Group facilitating
To read more about my journey to The ‘Well and what God has laid on my heart, look at our About page.
The Wateringwell blog has 6 basic categories-or maybe we should call them wells :). They are loosely based on Zig Ziglar’s wellness wheel and include Spiritual, Health, Finance, Relationships, Leisure and Self. The tools and content we discuss on the blog will fall into these categories.
Make sure your wells are full before you hit crisis mode. Prepare in advance. Surround yourself with healthy wells and fill them with all that is good and pleasing to God.
Who/What are the wells in your life? In other words, where do you draw your energy from on a daily basis? Is it God, a person, group of people or activity? Ask for God’s help and list everything that comes to mind. Write good or bad in a column next to each answer. For clarity, you may want to use a different colored pen. Do you have more positive, healthy influences in your life? Or are they more negative and draining?
If you would like prayer, somebody to chat to or advice, you are welcome to:
- Email me directly firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send me a private message on Facebook
- Post your request in the comments section below