Our family was at the beach last week with my parents, brother and sister, and their families. We had a great time in the ocean and enjoyed various activities in the area. But one of our favorite activities in the evening, after a belly-busting dinner and some family devotions, is playing some board games or cards together. Stories of our childhood entertain our kids, and we all have funny comments or observations about our different perspectives and little secrets of growing up in our “interesting” family.
By the end of the night though, I was so bloated. Why? Because I drank so much limeade and soda. I hardly ever drink very much, so why now? After playing and sweating on the beach and being in the salt water all day, then eating a bunch of salty snacks and a huge salty dinner, I was dehydrated and didn’t even know it. Being so thirsty, over the course of a couple hours, I progressively and unintentionally guzzled so much that I was actually uncomfortable.
This is how our spiritual life often plays out. The world around us is so active, always speeding up and filled with options. As we get older, the activities are more complex and require more time, attention, and energy, and have more pressure associated with them. We become so engaged in them that both the enjoyable and the unpleasant activities alike can be draining.
As a result, without realizing it, we get spiritually thirsty for purpose, value, connection, attention, achievement, peace, love, and direction among other things. Unfortunately, this world offers more distractions than you can fit into one lifetime. We are thirsty, and at times, because of those distractions, we don’t even realize we are dehydrated. So, to unknowingly quench this thirst we start to unconsciously look to the world’s nectar and juices … idols. These idols provide some temporary relief … we get bloated and uncomfortable. Yet the thirst remains because the idol will never fulfill the need.
Today, try to understand that your deepest desire and drive is for a loving relationship with Jesus Christ. His joy and peace is the only way to satisfy your thirst. Take a look at some of the attitudes or objects you turn to … food, alcohol, attention, gossip, isolation, control, anger, shopping, status, money … when you are “thirsty” and need something. You are drinking for sure, but drinking the wrong thing will bring so much pain. Drinking the Living Water will bring all you will ever desire.
Dear Father God, I am so thirsty … my soul is thirsty. At times I confuse this thirst with just being tired or stressed out. So I start searching for relief, or at least for some distractions. I know that all the while You are standing next to me … ready to quench my thirst. My soul thirsts for You, Lord. Allow Your gifts of Joy and Peace to enhance my awareness of You. I pray this in the name the only one who can quench my thirst, Jesus Christ – and all God’s children say, AMEN!
I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
Jesus said to her, “Every one who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”