I worked in oil and gas until the industry began to fold inward earlier this year. Sometimes, when a producer decides that a well is no longer economical for whatever reason, they can suspend production or “shut in” the well. The well is capable of production, but it is intentionally shut in to halt production for the present time. There are lots of reasons for this and they are good ones. Market is down. Too much water and not enough oil in this one. Not enough gas to afford keeping it online. All valid reasons. Same result. No production.

Much like our hearts. 

Hear me out. One thing that must be managed during the shut in process is the management of pressure. It is vital that the pressure be contained and dealt with. Ignored, and a much bigger problem will arise in a matter of time and circumstances. 

If we harden our hearts with unforgiveness, pride or bitterness that goes unchecked, the pressure will build and have dire consequences if not dealt with correctly. 

Our hearts will become shut in wells. Capable of being used by God, but offline by choice. And usually for a valid reason. But Jesus died so we could have a billion plus barrels a day production worth of love and truth from our hearts to both experience and give away. 

There was once a Samaritan woman who had a shady past. She had some bad emotional soul ties with her exes and horrible relationships. Trust issues didn’t begin to cover it. And everybody knew, so the women whispered and silently judged her. Did they think she didn’t notice when they pulled their teenage sons and husbands away from her? She was used to shame. She wore it like a hairstyle, and had learned to live with the pain. She had made some choices she wasn’t proud of, but there was nothing she could do about it now. Or so she thought. 

Jesus came to her and asked her for a drink. She was taken aback. “How is it that you, a Jew, ask me a Samaritan for a drink?” Basically, we are lower than scum. I wear my sin. Why are you here? What do you want with me? Have you come to shame me as well? But He had not come to shame her. Quite the opposite, actually. He came to offer her Living Water and give her eternal life. She gladly accepted it and it changed her life forever. She chose Living Water and not to remain shut in. People were saved because she chose to live. What a beautiful story. 

We are not the sins of our past. We are forgiven. We press on and in to our God seeking Him first and His glory in our lives. We help those who need it. We remain open and flowing with compassion, empathy and generosity and the Holy Spirit’s guidance and discernment in all things. We fall away. Forget. Feel pain. Move back. Find joy. And live our lives. We journey on toward this side of eternity knowing that if God be for us, who wants to be on the other side?? Not it!!!!
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