Easter - 2018

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Thirsty Anyone? There is a fountain that quenches every thirst!

Last Sunday I was looking out the window and watching it rain. I could also hear it hitting the side of the house. There was a water spout on the house across the way that had water flowing out of it at a pace that if I were to turn on the garden house it would flow with the same vigor. I was not watching a gentle rain, but a rain that is pouring on. In addition, this rain had been raining all night and it is a cold bitter rain.

The bitter, wet cold made it a little more of a nuisance to get into church that morning, but no more than a nuisance. I know that the earth needs the rain and the ground has a need to absorb the water so that the water table will be replenished for the Spring and Summer water needs. In fact, as I watched the rain, I could see the ground and the grass and our evergreen trees soaked, but not in a way that is bad. The soaking is more like that of a bath and the natural surrounding were taking it all in. 
These events cause me to reflect on Bradley Holt's book, “Thirsty for God.” Holt refers to how our lack of fluid brings great calamity to the world around us. Our physical bodies need water. We need it to rain in our physical flesh in order for us to function. Our bodies need water. Being hydrated is essential for so many functions such as energy, healing, immunity, electrolytes, and reproduction. God has created our physical bodies to thirst for water as a means to survive. The interesting and note worthy aspect if this vital need is that when we become dehydrated the signals are not immediate or strong. The same dehydrated facts are true of our spiritual selves as well.

I am a person that has always struggled to keep that weight off. Some would say that it is genetic. I would agree that I am not the only one that struggles with keeping the weight down in my family. Holt talks about how his solution for many things is to eat. In our family, that was often the case. If it is a problem, lets get something to eat and talk about it. Another thing that food was used for in our family is that food and eating was a reward. If it was your birthday or you received a well earned high grade in school or any major achievement, the event was celebrated with food. Holt points out that our hunger is not truly about food, but about a lack of fluids. Most of our hunger pains can be put to sleep with a good glass of water.

Holt moves forward with these two ideas and talks about how “the basic premise of any spirituality is that our non physical selves also thirst.” From the beginning of creation, mankind has tried to fill the need for this thirst for God. The modern soul thirsty heart is reminded of Adam and Eve. They were physically hungry, yet they allow the tempter to take the basic thirst and hunger to a spiritual level while encouraging them to eat of the forbidden fruit. Another ancient story of thirst is that of Cain and Able. Cain kills his brother for the basic thirst to have God's approval. I am reminded of David and as he is looking out of the palace he sees Bathsheba and his physical flesh thirsts for her physically and he acts on it. David's rebellion is truly a thirst for power and control verse his spiritual submission to God. David had a number of beautiful wives, what David was thirsting for was his desire to control and posses anyone or anything. The story of time is filled with men and women that are thirsty for God and choose to fill that thirst with sin. My story is not any different.

The story is also filled with men and women that have chosen to drink of life from the living water of God. In John 4, it is recorded that Jesus is standing at the well and a woman comes up. It is the middle of the day and all the other village women were not around. The text implies she came at that hour because she was an undesirable and the women of noble character would not have associated with her. She lives a sinful life and she is also a Samaritan. Jesus was a Jew and he was a leader of a Jewish religious practice. The culture of the time dictated that Jesus would not have talked with her or even noticed she was around. In contrast to the culture, Jesus talks to her and asks for a drink. The woman is shocked and she questions Jesus' actions.

The conversation reveals that she is thirsty. The woman has tried to fulfill her thirst for God with men and sinful living. Jesus reveals to her that if she was to drink from his water, she would never thirst again. The woman asks for this water and Jesus grants it to her while revealing some eternal truth of God. God is seeking worshipers that are willing to worship in spirit and truth. The fulfillment of her thirst causes her to celebrate and then she goes out telling everyone she knows of the events that took place by the well. Her thirst for God is met and she experiences the love of God that transforms lives so that she is highly motivated to share it with others.

I can relate to these recorded events in the lives of people such as Adam, David and the woman because I also thirst for God. I can feel the thirst that calls for a relationship with God. Therefore, it is comforting to read Holts words, “discovering a path through the universe by living in relationship with a revealing God who surprises that traveler with loving gifts.” The amazing piece to this spiritual journey is that “the gospel of Jesus is contained in the truly clay pots of his human followers.” Thus, the created person desiring to have a relationship with the creator God can commit to developing the spiritual disciplines and maturity. 
It is mid-January in Indiana and the ground is still frozen and the rain water I mentioned earlier doesn't soak in too deep. I witnessed that ponds, the creeks, and the rivers that are at their fullest because the frozen earth will not allow for the rain water to soak in too deep. I think of the times that my inner and deepest parts are frozen in personal desire and sin. It is my frozen heart that keeps me from developing into a person that is truly hydrated by the water offered by the living God. I am encouraged that my spiritual thirst will continue to thrive and be met on God's provision while melting that frozen nature deep within. I seek to have God's love and spirit poured into me so that I might be a person that pours out love, service, and sacrifice on others much like that water spout pouring forth water from a hard rain.

You know I love ya, Don

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