“Gwen grew up on this land. Every ravine, every rock formation, every grassy slope, every cluster of trees… every detail as familiar today as it was back then. Today, she needed something familiar to cling to—something to take her mind off her troubles. Her world had begun to fall apart—piece by piece, person by person. And she just needed a walk in the sunshine in a place of security… to grab hold of something, anything, she could count on.
But it wasn't working. She didn't have the same thrill when she saw the mound overlooking the sinkhole. As a girl she could hardly wait to jump off and bury herself in the leaves that collected below. But today it was just a pile of dirt next to a hole.
She began to search desperately for something that would measure up to her expectations. She was so caught up in herself she failed to step around that old hand‐dug well, covered with boards. But those boards were thirty years older now and she was no longer the petite little girl.
The next few moments were like a slow‐motion replay of her life since leaving home. What once was support now gave way as she began to fall through the rotten wood. First, she grabbed hold of a rock with her left hand as she pressed her back against the side of the well, but the rock broke loose. Then her right foot snagged a tree root, but only momentarily.
It was hell going down… as if every rock and root that gave way was a painful reminder of those real events in her life that just gave way when she thought they would support her.
Finally, she reached the bottom. In her mind it was a rough, slow descent, bouncing from one side of the well to the other. But she was alive. As she lay face down in the thick mud at the bottom of the well, she realized the worst was over. She was at the bottom and she was alive.
The impact of hitting the mud face down gave her a new perspective. She could breath. She could wiggle her toes and fingers. The worst was over and it didn't kill her.
She somehow knew that her next move would forever change her life. She didn't know how or why. She had no details. She just knew that something had been knocked out of her on the way down, and she was different.
With everything she had in her, she rolled over. It wasn't easy to move, being half‐buried in the mud, but she rolled over… opened her eyes… and smiled….”
Could you play the role of Gwen? Where are you in the story line? Have you just started thinking about the familiar place—that place where you began to form your opinions about life? Or are you already headed there? Have you made it to the well? Do you sense you are about to step on those rotten boards? Have you crashed through and headed down? Or are you already face‐down in the mud at the bottom?
Can you tell me what you think Gwen saw when she looked up? Since I am writing the story I get to make up what she saw. But it's not really made up. It's what we all see, in some form or other, when we are in a position to hear from God.
Getting back to the story: “Gwen saw rescue workers looking down into the well. But they didn't have the usual equipment—helmets, rope, slings, axes. Their rescue techniques were unconventional—to say the least (she would be lifted out of the well by the voice of God). They began to tell her about this Jesus, who is life itself:
We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy. This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. (1 John 1:1–5 NLT)
When she heard the words they spoke, Gwen knew that she knew that she knew: ‘This Jesus I can count on. He will not fail me. What I hear from Him is all I ever need to hear.’”
If you need to hear from God today, roll over, look up, and hear what God is saying to you through John. If you're not there already, put yourself in the bottom of your well. This is the place where you have nothing to offer but your cooperation. This is the place where all you can do is cooperate with whatever or whoever God is using to help you.
Get quiet and give at least fifteen minutes of concentrated attention to John's testimony in this account. John and his associates experienced Jesus with their physical senses. You can count on what John is telling you because he's giving you a first‐hand account of their relationship with Jesus.
Please note: You and I can have relationships with other people that are trustworthy. Not everyone behaves badly. There are people like John today, whose integrity for Jesus cannot be tarnished. And you are invited to have fellowship with them. This fellowship is trustworthy because it's not based on human connections, like the business and social organizations designed to help “you.” This fellowship is based on divine connections, networking with the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ, and is designed to help others (and you in the process).
If what you have been holding on to has given way… if you no longer have any confidence in anything with your name on it… be encouraged. If you need to hear from God, be encouraged because God is speaking to you. Study this passage from 1 John until it no longer belongs on a page in your Bible but belongs to you—written in your heart.
As you begin to be more deliberate about hearing from God, you will hear from Him. Please don't diminish anything you hear, no matter how insignificant.
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel's hand. (Zechariah 4:10a NLT)
The Lord rejoices to see this work begin in your life. He wants it more than you do, so thank Him. If you're not sure you've actually heard from Him yet, go ahead and thank Him anyway. You can use this passage from the Psalms as an example:
I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; my ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require. (Psalm 40:1–6 NKJV)
Thank Him for opening your ears so you can hear. Make this your testimony by declaring it out loud, even if you feel like you are still in the well. You are now in a position to hear and you will hear.
Tomorrow we'll get into more specifics on hearing from God.
Have a good day,