Have you ever been really thirsty… I mean really thirsty. Have you ever been so dry that your tongue cleaved to the roof of your mouth? I’m not sure I have ever been that thirsty…but I’ve been pretty thirsty at times.
One time I was in the New Mexico desert during basic training in the army. It was 100 degrees and everyone was really thirsty. They had these big bags of water called Lister Bags but they were about the same temperature as the air. Out of the blue a friend of mine came over with a large coke filled with ice that he had somehow gotten. He offered me a drink and it was the most satisfying drink I think I’ve ever had. I almost couldn’t stop drinking. It was so refreshing. (On a side note, I never saw this man after training but occasionally I pray for him because of his kindness to me.)
Boy, when you’re really thirsty, there is nothing like a cool drink. My mother used to make a great glass of ice water. I don’t know what you can do to make a great glass of ice water…but she made a GREAT glass of ice water. I think she made it with care and love and somehow delighted in preparing it. It was so good that my brothers and I would often come over and ask if we could have a sip… and drink it all down. She would act offended, but I think she was always happy to share it. She would complain “every time I make myself a nice glass of ice water, you come over and drink it all up”, but she said it with a smile.
The Psalmist says ”My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?” (Ps. 42:2) The scripture is filled with descriptions of man’s longing for God. As a man dying of thirst in the desert, so does man long for God.
Yet, how often can we relate to that extreme longing for God, like a man dying of thirst for that cup of cold water? Truly it is a grace to experience that longing. That longing brings my life into focus. I realize that I don’t need many things. I don’t fundamentally need more money or fame or pleasures or even health. I fundamentally need God. At my core, I need God. And the wonderful thing is that when I recognize that fundamental need of my soul… when I realize that my soul is athirst for the living God, I look and see the Lord standing before me ready to fully and graciously refresh my soul.
Even more than my friend in the New Mexico desert and my mother in our home in St. Louis, the Lord stands ready to give each of us a drink of that refreshing life giving water. A-a-a-a-a-h-h, can’t you taste it ?