stolen water

Posted: February 1st, 2010 | Filed under: life | Tags: | 7 Comments »

“Stolen water is sweet,…” -Proverbs 9:17 ESV

If God cares about you at all, your secret will be found out. The storm-wet footprints of those who slip through the dark may dry by morning, but if you have to work with the lights off, you won’t see the other evidence you left behind. You’re careful not to leave scars, but those who love you can feel when your blood leaves your veins. You erase all the messages, but all it takes is getting your timing off one time and there’s nothing you can do about it. You clear your history, but your brain is missing that button. You can bury the bottle, but you renew your problem every time you empty a new one.

You can’t make yourself not want it and you can’t control how fast you need more. You have an addiction. The honeymoon period lasts a long time, but it’s not long before you realize you’re attached to a ball and chain.

“Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” -Proverbs 9:17 ESV

How many holes do you have to dig before you’ve dug up all your good and you’re nothing but a backyard of buried secrets? No green, no new life and you’re tripping on a rusty chain. Why would anyone take the time to wash a dog that keeps going back to his dingy holes? Maybe you’d prefer the backyard. You can be the paranoid guard of secret holes, always looking over your shoulder.

You think it would be better if nobody knew and you can get this under control by yourself. You may be able to make it to the shower before anybody sees what you brought home, but there are some things you can’t wash off. There are things you can’t fix by yourself.

These things burn images into your retina. They carve their messages into the lining of your skin. Nobody can see just how bad it is, but they watch you squirm like a worm on a hot sidewalk, like a princess with a rash, like a star athlete with a twisted ankle.

Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.”Proverbs 20:17 ESV

Your digging has damaged roots. You’ve isolated yourself with burned bridges. You were giddy with the attention of seduction, but now you’re just alone. Now you have to face what you’ve become. A fence climber, a gravedigger, a child left behind after a funeral.

“Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” But he does not know that the dead are there. -Proverbs 9:17-18 ESV

You may describe what happened as ‘getting caught’, but you’ve got it wrong. You’ve been found. The backyard has been seized and you’re being questioned while you watch them dig up your secrets. The excruciating shame shocks your body as the cloak of darkness is ripped away. You see your naked form in the light of day and don’t recognize the emaciated mass of gray you’ve become. You’re not so sexy when everybody around you isn’t drunk on stolen water.

There will be gawkers who snap your image while you’re stripped down and squinting under the bright lights of reality. You will be let down by those who you used to respect because when the lights come on, you’ll see them for who they are, too: immature and blind. Don’t pay attention to them. You’ll see the backs of heads more than you will the kindness in eyes. It takes a team of fighters with a lot of faith and a few scars of their own to help you walk.

You’ve been found out because you have a purpose. You’ve gone through your ‘boot camp’ of sin recognition and utter helplessness so that you can be part of a team who help the fallen make the long walk home. We all have impurities in our making. A little pressure, a little heat, a little dance with the devil will make some of those dormant weeds bloom. If you can see it, you can follow it down to the source and root it out.

There are many things you may have built in your life, but if they’re not meant to be there, they’ll be destroyed.

Eventually there is going to be an inspection. If you use cheap or inferior materials, you’ll be found out. The inspection will be thorough and rigorous. You won’t get by with a thing. If your work passes inspection, fine; if it doesn’t, your part of the building will be torn out and started over. But you won’t be torn out; you’ll survive—but just barely. -1 Corinthians 9:13-15

If you have been caught in your sin, then your shackles have been cut. There is an upward climb through rocky woods before the open spaces of freedom. Sometimes slaves are afraid of the space between chains and freedom, but you don’t have to go this alone. There are others who have been there and there is One who has walked this before. No matter how many times you slip back and lose ground, you will never be left behind. He will never give up on you. When you can run, run. But, even if you have to crawl, keep moving.

The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does. -1 Peter 5:9



7 Comments on “stolen water”

  1. 1 Jennie said at 7:43 am on February 1st, 2010:

    Once again beautiful! I so look forward to reading what you write daily! you have a wonderful talent! (on a sidenote I went to three diffrent bookstores yesterday looking for your book to give to my friend and they are all three sold out!!!!!)

  2. 2 Lindsey @ A New Life said at 9:10 am on February 1st, 2010:

    So, I just started bawling at work. 🙂

    Can I just say how I've been there? And how so very humbled I am to not be there anymore?

    And can I also say how hard it is to want the same for those you love so they can move foward unfettered and how hard it is to stand by and wait for them to see God moving?

  3. 3 Serena Woods said at 11:04 am on February 1st, 2010:

    Jennie: I'm not sure that any bookstores carry by book. I am doing this all on my own and don't have the marketing or distribution that main stream publishers have. It's all word of mouth. In that way, it's really interesting to see people have read my book and have no idea how they found out about it. 🙂 It's like putting pixie dust on God's coat hem.

    Lindsey: I listen to sermons via podcast all the time and one I heard recently was about how we never trust God enough to take care of others the way He takes care of us. 🙂

  4. 4 Jennie said at 2:53 am on February 2nd, 2010:

    Well no wonder I couldn't find it anywhere!:) Thanks for the info I will get it off here. See, mine was a gift from my Mom so I didn't know where she had got it. Also, this may sound a little crazy but I was wondering if I sent you my copy would you be able to sign it and send it back? (I know it sounds crazy) but I admirebyou very much and I would LOVE LOVE LOVE a signed copy! again thanks for all you do, I can't even describe how you've impacted my walk with Christ

  5. 5 Tia said at 7:01 am on February 2nd, 2010:

    Ok.. sometimes I read these posts and think "oh that was good and well written" and sometimes I have no idea what you are saying. But this one… It's like chewing on steak. You can't swallow it whole, there is so much truth there it must be savored and understood. I wish everyone I know would read this post and let it soak into their heart. To know the freedom in being found despite the darkness.

  6. 6 nikkie said at 9:15 am on February 4th, 2010:

    gettting caught did remove the shackles ….and you are right, an upward climb, in the bright light with gawkers looking on~and somehow~with time, God heals that too.

    so glad to be found.

  7. 7 trisha said at 2:43 am on February 6th, 2010:

    Well, ironically enough, some things have come to light the day after this was written. I knew it was a matter of time and trying to figure out how to walk away- which of course wasn't happening. Shackles are still attached, but hopefully they will be removed soon.

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