We spent hours playing in the creek. Building dams, catching minnows and tadpoles and crayfish, sailing pieces of wood downstream. Town kids went to swimming pools in the summer, but we had our fun in the creek. Every child should have a creek running through his playground.
We’re drawn to the ocean; we hike to waterfalls; we stomp in puddles. A waterfront home carries a hefty price tag, many wish lists are topped by a boat, and interior spaces are enhanced by aquariums. We drink water and bathe in it; admire it and crave it. Our bodies contain much water, and we must have it to survive and thrive. Water is inspiration, cleansing, refreshment, life.
I wonder which came first — the chicken or the egg? Did God plant this thirst within us so that we could also understand our thirst for Him? Or does He simply use this inborn craving to explain what He is and does for us? One more question: Do you think Adam and Eve were ever thirsty in the Garden of Eden? Or did thirst come only after they had left paradise and a perfect relationship with God?
We probably can’t answer those questions, but studying Scriptures and tracing the imagery and symbolism of our thirst and God’s living water is fascinating. It’s fascinating, because it’s my own story! It’s your story. It’s the story and hope of every child of God.
Once upon a time, there were thirsty souls, wandering in a desert —
Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love …
for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.
(I have to insert here — if you aren’t familiar with Psalm 107, read it! Your story is probably there, a description of the life from which God saved you and praises for all He’s done for you. You’ll probably hear more from me about this Psalm, because I think it’s so powerful … but … later.)
Scripture is saturated with promises that God satisfies the thirst of our souls, that longing, the desire for the thing that refreshes, cleanses, and sustains us.
Isaiah 35’s images give us a picture of the change that God, the spring of living water, brings to those He claims as His own.
…your God will come … he will come to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf be unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
For everyone who wanders in the desert, the living water gushes forth and will satisfy your deep thirst. The Father says, “Come, all you who are thirsty…”
And for everyone who has found that spring of living water, With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation … for great is the Holy One of Israel who lives among you.
Are you drinking deeply? With joy?
Finding the water in the wilderness is only the beginning of your story! Stay tuned for the next installment ….
Scriptures: Psalm 107:4-9; Jeremiah 2:13; Isaiah 35:4-7; Isaiah 55:1 (all NIV); Isaiah 12:3,6 (NLT)
My favorite Scriptures on life-giving water: Jeremiah 17:7-8; Psalm 23:2; Isaiah 49:10; Isaiah 44:3, Isaiah 58:11