Monday, March 28, 2011

I Thirst

“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” John 4: 13-14

Have you ever been really thirsty? I mean so thirsty that it is all you could think about, all you desired? So thirsty that nothing else mattered but getting a drink? I bet some of you reading this are getting thirsty right now. What a powerful and instinctual urge this is in us. An urge so primordial and integral to us as beings because it keeps us alive, for without water, we would die. It’s interesting to note that the human body can last much longer without food than it can without fluids. This makes sense when you realize that our bodies are made mostly of water. So when we don’t have enough or we need more, our bodies send us this sense of thirst to compel us to quench it. And if this desire has become desperate enough, we will do almost anything to quench it. I have even heard stories of stranded hikers in the wilderness who drank their own urine to quench this thirst.

But you know what? No matter how many times we get thirsty, no matter how many times we quench that thirst and no matter how much liquid we drink at one sitting, we are still going to be thirsty again. Sure, that glass of ice cold water on a hot summer day feels so good, but that satisfaction lasts only but a short while, and then we are left wanting more. This is the way things are in life. Even the good things are given for short term satisfaction and then we want again. Why is this? Because we were created for more than just the things we can see, taste, touch, smell and experience in this life—we were made for the eternal. And as long as we seek to quench or thirst for peace, or love, or happiness in anyone or anything of this world, we will be left wanting more.

However, the Good News is that there is One who can quench our thirst. And not just for a couple of hours, but forever. This water He gives will not quench our physical thirst, but it will quench the thirst of our hearts, a thirst more powerful even than our physical thirst. A thirst designed to be quenched by Him and Him alone! And you know the crazy thing? He thirsts for you and me as well. And it is this thirst for our love that compels Him to love us and is what draws us to Him. At the exact moment that Jesus was pouring out His love for us with His death on the cross He reminds us of His thirst for our love. We quench His thirst when we love others, when we see their needs and attempt to meet them. When we stop looking at ourselves and seek to offer our lives for others as He did for us. Then, in these moments, the thirst of God’s heart and our hearts is quenched simultaneously in the streams of love and mercy welling up within us from God and draws us to the eternal.

Dear Jesus, may I always recognize the difference between that which will quench my thirst for a short time and the water that comes from You that will never leave me thirsty again. Amen.

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