[This first appeared as a guest post I wrote last year for Laura Martin at her excellent blog Enough Light.]
In The Four Loves C.S. Lewis discusses people who act in unlovable ways and notes, “They seal up the very fountain for which they are thirsty.” He explains that they want love and affection, but their behavior shuts themselves off from receiving it from others. I’ve been that guy.
- I have lashed out angrily at petty inconveniences and when a friend has lovingly and wisely tried to help me see the other person’s view, I’ve rejected their insights and then – what’s worse – turned my anger against that friend for not taking my side.
- I have sulked at minor accusations and slights to my character and when a friend has assured me that no one who knows me well believes those accusations, shut that friend down as not understanding at all what I am going through.
- I have covered myself with self-pity like a rash from head to toe and when a friend has offered to help me see a way out of whatever was bothering me, rejected that help because what I wanted instead was someone to help me pick at the scabs.
Yeah, I’ve been that guy, the one who seals up “the very fountain”, the fountain of affection, friendship and love for which I thirst. Even worse, I used to be that way with Jesus, the best friend I could hope for. (John 15:15.)
Drinking From the True Fountain
Similar to how we shut out friends, people can seal themselves off from the fountain of life himself, Jesus. (Psalm 36:9; John 4:14.) The Bible calls this hardening hearts. (Psalm 95:8; Ephesians 4:17-19.) People separate themselves from God by actions and choices. (Isaiah 59:1-2.) Yet unlike friends who may feel the sting of rejection and leave us alone, God still wants us and pursues us. (Isaiah 62:8-12.)
That’s why Jesus came, to seek and save the lost. (Luke 19:10.) God the Son came to set captives free, even those who are captive to their own sinful choices. (Luke 4:18-19; Romans 5:8.) He came to give us more life than we could hope to attain on our own. (John 10:10.)
When God gives, he gives to overflowing. (Psalm 23:5; Joel 2:24; Luke 6:38.) I like how Nancy Spiegelberg put it:
Lord I crawled across the barrenness to you with my empty cup uncertain in asking any small drop of refreshment. If only I had known you better I’d have come running with a bucket.
Jesus held the cup of never ending water to my parched lips, and now I drink in him by the bucket load.
Questions: When are you most likely to seal yourself off from God’s blessings? Why?