YOU MAY HAVE heard of the guy who’d run to the front of the church every time there was a revival service, crying out, “Fill me Jesus, fill me Jesus!” Until one day, when one of the old ladies sitting at the back offered a stage whisper, “Don’t do it, Lord. He leaks!”
It’s funny, but I’d say that if there is any fault in the story, it’s in the rear pew, not at the altar. She’s just sitting there tut-tutting over someone else’s failure to get it all together in the way she thinks he should. He’s more concerned about getting more of God than what people might think of him.
Like the repeat repenter, I’m more holey than I’d like to admit and less holy than I want to be. Some days God feels close and everything appears sunny, and others the clouds come in and He seems far away. Some days my cup runs over and some days it seems to have turned into a colander.
I take some encouragement from the first disciples, in all of this. When a father brought his troubled son to them, they could not free the boy from the spirit that was tormenting him. When Jesus stepped in, the child was immediately set free.
Naturally, the disciples wanted to know why they hadn’t been able to help the boy. “Because of your unbelief,” He told them (Matt. 17:20). Their faith had waned in Jesus’ absence—when the man first arrived with his son, you may recall, He was up on the mountain being transfigured.
Yet not too long before this, Jesus had sent the disciples out to preach the kingdom, heal the sick, and deliver people. They had returned from their adventures full of enthusiasm—but even with these recent experiences their faith had flagged. They leaked.
In Mark’s account of the boy’s healing, Jesus had words for the father who had been discouraged by the disciples’ inability to help. “All things are possible for one who believes,” He told him (Mark 9:23).The dad’s answer gets to the heart of leaky faith: “I believe; help my unbelief!”
There may be some ways in which we can plug some of the holes in our lives so we leak less. But you can have a leak-free cup that’s empty. More important is to keep coming back to the source of limitless, life-giving water.
That’s the good news of the promise of John 7:38: “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”