Dry Wells

There’s a waterway in the woods at our farm that fills with several inches of water every spring during the rains.  Scientists call it a vernal pond because it only lasts a few weeks in spring,  just about as long as it takes for tadpoles to grow into frogs.  For several weeks each year, the music of the pond comes to life at dusk and reverberates into the night with a chorus of spring peepers and bullfrogs we can hear from a quarter mile away. And then they fall silent.

By fall, the pond is just a dried-up ditch filled with old, dead wood. Nothing grows there, as conditions don’t allow it.  It’s funny how the area, once a nursery of new life, becomes barren and lifeless.  Looking at that place during the autumn season reminds me of a lesson I have learned and continue to learn.

Picture shows the vernal pond in the foreground. Sunset behind through the trees. Still beautiful, despite the lack of life.

Sometimes our lives seem full, and sometimes they feel dry and empty.  What I’ve learned is that too often I try to fill myself up through relationships, working hard, finishing a task, or by making people happy. But my efforts always fall short. What I have learned is that efforts to fill myself eventually lead to that dry, barren ditch full of dead wood.  It lasts for a while, but it doesn’t hold water.  Maybe you can think of things you have tried that have failed to bring lasting peace and happiness. What would they be?

God addressed this human problem through the prophet Jeremiah when He said, “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that hold no water.”



The cool thing is that when Jesus came He promised to give living water. In fact, He said that those who drink of that living water will never thirst again! (John 4:7-13). I have learned that letting Christ fill me with the life He gives is far greater than the stagnant water I try to use to fill my own broken cisterns.  To remain close to Him is to be continuously filled with living water. In fact, as He fills me, living water can overflow to others. It’s so much better than trying to fill myself, and it’s a great privilege to be just a tiny little bucket who might bring a refreshing taste of living water to someone in need.

I plan to write more next week about how this filling happens, but for now, if you want to look up some biblical passages that talk about God’s living water, there are just a few posted below:

Jeremiah 2:12-13, John 7:37-39, Revelation 7:16-17,  Jeremiah 17:12-13,




About Vicki Gatchell

I am a wife, a mother of four, a small-town girl, a lover of people, and most recently, I have been overwhelmingly called to share the message of Jesus Christ in Grace and Truth. I grew up on a farm near Hicksville, Ohio where I raised sheep and was nurtured in a love for nature. I received my Bachelor's Degree in Physical Therapy from The Ohio State University and have been practicing Physical Therapy for over 25 years. I received my Master's Degree in Ministry Studies and Women's Leadership Studies from Grace College and Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana. I am a life-long student of theology, a longtime ministry volunteer, and I feel called to step forward and lead.

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