I often forget to drink water…until I’m so dry my head is pounding! I bring bottles filled with either herbal tea or vitamin infused water to work, thinking maybe having just a touch of flavor will entice me to get a full 64 ounces consumed in a day – but still, there are days when a full bottle accompanies me back home.
Sometimes I get really dry spiritually too…without realizing just how parched I am until my soul aches. Psalm 42 tells me David, who God called “a man after his own heart” had dry spells like the one where he cried out in Psalm 42:1-2, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”
Why is it we don’t always realize our soul thirst – an unquenchable desire in our beings only God can fill? For me, I think it has to do with living in a world where either I am in a routine (occasionally called a “rut”) or a world filled with lots of distractions, noise and hurry. I don’t realize I’m running on spiritual “empty” until something out of my normal routine interrupts or a challenging situation arises to grab my attention. And, even then, sometimes it takes a while to realize the only way that thirst will be quenched is to be in the presence of the one who loves me most – God.
I also wonder if because we live in a world with so many “fixes” – a pill for just about anything that ails us, or the latest gadget to make life simpler – we think of God as a last resort to meet the need. Yet, we read that God longs to meet with us! One of my favorite passages in scripture is Isaiah 30:15-18. In that passage, God challenges Israel to rest and trust in his loving provision, but the frenzied Israelites try to fix life themselves as they say, “No, we will flee on horses…we will ride off on swift horses!” And God says “Okay, go ahead, but it won’t get you very far [my interpretation].” Finally, in verse 18, we see God’s desire for his people where it says, “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him.”
When I read that passage, it reminds me God is just waiting for me to realize that God-shaped desire within myself. And, because we are each uniquely designed, there are a variety of ways to enjoy God’s presence and find soul-renewal. In the blog over the next three weeks, we will look at some of those ways we can engage with God. – Judi Brandow, Communication Specialist