Christian Living

Spiritual Life

How Thirsty Are You?

Have you ever been so thirsty that you had “cotton mouth” and your saliva balled up like tiny balls of cotton? That happened to me all the time as a kid playing football. Back then, no one carried a water bottle. Cotton mouth is uncomfortable, but it’s no big deal — at least that's what my football coach always said!

But what about becoming so dehydrated that your whole body gets the chills, aches, and is about to collapse with exhaustion?

That’s happened to me twice while hiking in the high sierras with my son. The first time, he was 16-years-old and we were with his Boy Scout troop. We had hiked 12 miles that day, climbed over 5,000 feet, and had set up camp close to Mount Langley, a near “Fourteener” (a mountain peak that was 20 feet under 14,000 feet high).

There it was, a great mountain peak just a few miles and 4,000 of elevation gain away — I felt I had to climb it. It was late in the afternoon and no one wanted to go with me. So, I filled my camelback with water, grabbed a couple of bars, and headed for the peak, planning to be back for dinner.

Well, it took a lot longer than I thought. I ended up hiking in the dark with just a flashlight and I got lost. And I got altitude sickness. I felt like I was going to throw up. I was so thirsty and weak I could hardly walk. When I got back to camp at 8:30 pm, just before a search crew was going to look for me, the first thing I did was drink water!

Thirst for God!
What if we thirsted for God like that? David did. He prayed:

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1 ESV)

His prayer resonates with us because this world is a dry and weary desert with no water. I often use his prayer to remind myself of how thirsty I am for God. One way I’ve done this is to paraphrase portions of Psalm 63 into a “Thirsty for Jesus” prayer.

Remember Jesus’ wonderful invitation to us who are thirsty:

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:37-39, ESV)

Ahhh! Yes. When we open our hearts to Jesus we don’t just get a sip of water — his Spirit enters us and we gush forth with rivers of living water!

Copyright © Bill Gaultiere, Ph.D., used with permission.

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