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Posts Tagged ‘thirst’

waterI am not really that good at breaking down knowledge into sequential bites. Teachers, for this reason, are truly amazing. They understand what a student has to learn first and then second and so on. It’s hard for me to analyze what I know and then back up to how I figured something out or how I learned a particular task or took advantage of an inborn talent.

But this much I know, in order to “come to the water,” a person must realize he/she is thirsty, in other words, in need. Meaningful change cannot happen without acknowledging the status quo as a) not working or b) not acceptable.

All of you who are thirsty, come to the water!
Whoever has no money, come, buy food and eat!
Without money, at no cost, buy wine and milk!
Why spend money for what isn’t food,
    and your earnings for what doesn’t satisfy? [Isaiah 55:1-2a; CEB]

Part Two: Once a person figures out that he/she is thirsty and starts looking around for something to quench that thirst, this is the point when circumstances and people play a vital role.

When I am thirsty, I don’t always pick the best thirst-quencher. Intellectually, I may know that water is probably best, but I am guilty of popping a beer or soda instead. Sometimes I choose badly because of convenience, sometimes I choose badly because I am offered something else from a person nearby.

And lastly, accept the paradox of God’s offer: water where there does not appear to be water; food where there is no money to buy food, etc. God, through Jesus, is continually offering and calling and drawing Human to the Godhead, to a life of Spirit, where thirst is perpetually quenched. We are so used to living a life of unmet needs and wants; we can barely comprehend an existence or space in which we would be completely satisfied. This is the life within, not the daily grind. If the Spirit is quenched, the 3-D life can be conquered, the journey can tolerated, the sorrows born, the disappointments made powerless.

Why spend money [time, energy, etc.] for what isn’t food? Believe in a better way.

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I love the verbs in this Psalm. If I took those verbs into my heart, I would have a prayer life that could change the world.

prayers are manyLord, hear my prayer,
    listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
    come to my relief. . . .
The enemy pursues me,
    he crushes me to the ground; . . .
I remember the days of long ago;
    I meditate on all your works
    and consider what your hands have done.
I spread out my hands to you; [surrender]
    I thirst for you like a parched land. [Psalm 143:1, 3a, 5-6]

It’s so simple.

I ask God to hear, listen & come, while the “enemy” pursues & crushes, but I am busy: remembering, meditating, considering, surrendering and thirsting [desiring] after the things of God: voice, heart, peace, and confidence.
If I am to successfully face the trials of life, this must be my mode of operation. There is no trial or circumstance that has not been covered by the promises of God when I am surrendered to God. The deal was struck through the covenant relationship that God has with human. . . . and with me.

Trials and disappointments will still be around. In fact, the world pursues us all, through the evil actions of others which cause hurricanes of pain and sorrow. I cannot stop the flood of terror or violence or stupidity fueled by selfish ambitions and delusion. I cannot always understand what drives others. I can only do my part: remember who God is my life; meditate on the presence of Christ’s Spirit within; consider the implications of living a surrendered life; and desiring God’s way and not my own.

This is what it means to pray.

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drink waterFor I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
[I Corinthians 10:1-4]

The theme for this week’s Lenten journey is “Thirst for God.” The Israelites suffered many hardships in the desert, but many of those difficulties they brought onto themselves through griping and complaint which was birthed from distrust. Early on, they were thirsty and cried out to Moses, forgetting the wonder of the parting waters and the Passover night and the plagues which bypassed them in Egypt. They focused on one thing: immediate need for water. And God provided water, despite their complaints, through the striking of a rock by the staff of Moses.

The rock is a symbol for the Christ. And the water, like the water mentioned here, is like the water in John 7:37, a water that quenches the deepest thirst. Water is used again with the woman at the well [John 4] whom Jesus invited to drink of living water and from which a person would no longer thirst again.

Where is my water? Where do I drink?

If anything, I feel more like the Samaritan woman, asking for that living water. Why don’t I feel like I can drink? I am trying to satisfy my inner thirst with the smallest amounts, like dew, floating on the surface. I am not drinking deeply.

My friends, Kathleen and Benedict Schwartz, started and run an orphanage called the Villages of Hope, AKCLI, in Zambia. Mike and I visited there early on in the process and one of their desperate needs was water. The drilling of wells was expensive and frustrating. Just across the road was a resort and golf course with plenty of water while their paltry fields were shriveling. They needed more than a trickle, they needed a gusher. And so they kept drilling, well after well after well until they hit the jackpot.

I don’t want to be satisfied with thimble-fulls of water anymore either. I have grown complacent with my little sips. It’s time to tap into the true groundwater, the lake underneath, the flowing waters of God’s love and renewal.

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