Arnie as a child

“A well that won’t take water, can’t give water!”

Those are the words my dad said to me as we filled the well casing to the brim with water.

On Saturdays, when I was in grade school, my father would wake me up early. It was my job to go help my Dad in his plumbing business. (He was a plumber and a full-time pastor). Dad wouldn’t take any excuses from me, although I always tried to think of one. I hated to go; I wanted to sleep late and then watch cartoons, like every other kid I knew.

This particular morning on the job, after many failed attempts to prime a pump, Dad decided that the problem was the well casing. When we started filling the well with a hose, the water came up to the brim and ran over. I was excited; I thought that it meant the well would pump water. But, that was when Dad said to me, “A well that won’t take water, can’t give water.”

With that, my Dad proceeded to clean out the bottom of the well casing. This time when we tried to fill the casing up with water, it didn’t fill up, which meant that it was taking water. When he hooked the pump back up, the well gave water!

Even though I saw the entire scenario that day, it would be years later before I would fully understand. A well is a flowing stream of water under the ground. It continually fills the well casing with water so it does not dry up, or run out of water. Therefore, in a well that is working properly, you can’t fill the casing completely full because the water will keep its level.

In our nonprofit, Water4Life Mozambique, the cement apron of every well we drill is inscribed with the words of John 37:38, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

Every time I read this scripture, I think of that plugged up well that wouldn’t let us pump any water. I think of the wisdom that flowed from my father. I think of the clean, safe water that is pumped from the wells we are drilling in northern Mozambique and the people who are benefiting from that blessing.

Daily I am reminded that in order to give water and hope, I must be able to take into my heart the abundance of love and compassion that Jesus offers. If you are not a flowing stream of God’s love, I pray that you will let Him unplug your heart and let His love flow freely.

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