Finding Joy When All Your Wells Run Dry

I did it. I clicked the button labeled “submit.” It was done. Three and a half years of work and my Masters Degree was complete.

I imagined this moment for three and half years. I couldn’t wait for it to happen. I just knew I would be elated.

But I wasn’t.

Joy Dry Well

I was dry and really tired and I just wanted to curl into a ball on my bed and hide.

My husband insisted on taking me and the kids out to dinner to celebrate. Surely sushi would boost my mood.

But it didn’t.

I rationalized the lack of enthusiasm by admitting my fatigue and my concern that I didn’t know my final grade. My type-A personality wanted straight A’s.

But even when I received my final GPA (3.97) there was a small sense of accomplishment, but no jumping up and down whooping joy.

There was only a dry and empty well. What I thought would bring me rest – finishing my degree – and joy – accomplishing my goal of getting straight A’s – didn’t bring either. Instead I was left with an empty question…What’s next?

As the question bounced around in my heart and head for weeks God spoke to me through Jeremiah 2:13 (ESV).

…for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
    the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
    broken cisterns that can hold no water.

I was dry for joy because I was digging for joy in my accomplishments, in reaching my goals. Don’t get me wrong it is good and right to feel satisfaction in reaching a goal. But if I am constantly saying, “I will rest when…” or “I will be happy when…” or “If only….” then I am missing out on joy right now. What is the constant source of joy and peace and rest? God, the fountain of living waters.

Have you forsaken the fountain of living waters? Are you digging for yourself wells that can’t hold water?

Lay down the shovel, friend, and come to God. Read His Word, listen to a sermon, sing His praises, pray, spend time with Godly friends or mentors, or serve Him.

I pray that we will never again forsake the “fountain of living waters” for “broken cisterns.”

What do you need to lay down so you can draw near to God?