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Thirst Quencher

I am thirsty today.  But the ice water doesn’t seem to quench the dry I feel in my mouth.  Hot all over, and grouchy too, I need more than water or even a perfect cup of peach tea to satisfy this thirst.  Irritable, I search for an excuse to get away by myself, maybe go find some great sales to get my adrenaline flowing and cheer me up.  Or maybe I just need to clean up my house and get things in order, so I can feel like I’m on top of it all again.  I think it through and remember I bought ice cream when I shopped yesterday (on sale, of course).  But as I reach for a bowl, the devotion I’m working on for next week comes to mind, and I stop dead in my tracks.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God (Psalm 42:1-2).

What if this time I satisfy the thirst with God Himself?  What if this thirst is not quenchable with water or shopping or even ice cream, but only with God?

But, I reason, I want something tangible.  Something I can actually touch and physically experience, grasp with my fingers.  Quite honestly, sometimes meeting with God seems so vague.  And, besides, what if I can’t find Him?  What if He doesn’t satisfy this hunger?

The Psalmist continues,

When can I go and meet with God?  My tears have been my food day and night . . . (vv2b,3a)

Turns out this guy knew the thirst I speak of.  Apparently, he fed it with tears.

Mine’s not that kind of sadness today.  But the thirst comes from the same place.  It’s the thirst that Creator God gave us when He breathed His very life into us.  The one He put there so we would find Him as the only Quencher.  The Living Water.

Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God (42:5,11;43:5).

The writer of this particular Psalm was, for whatever reason, far from home, far from the Temple of God in Jerusalem, where he had served as a worship leader (1 Chronicles 6:31-38).  So he was homesick and longing for the good old days when he could go to the temple and find God right there.

These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng (v4).

It used to be so easy.  But here’s where the rubber meets the road, and this Psalmist must do it even from where he stands.  Even from his place of thirst, seemingly so far from God and His dwelling.

My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon — from Mount Mizar (v6).

And I am struck by the power of the truth in this Psalm.  Because God is my Savior no matter where I am.  He shows me life and truth even when it feels hard to find.  He satisfies the driest of thirst even when I’m hot and irritable and grouchy all over.

And that is exactly what our Psalm writer finds as he remembers.

. . . in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me (v6b).

Not only is his thirst quenched, but he is lavished in the living water that is God Himself.

Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

I re-evaluate my own thirst and conclude that no ice cream or great bargain-finding, not even the perfect glass of peach tea could even come close to quenching this thirst, which I’ve now realized is more in my soul than in my belly.  And I choose to look to God for quenching instead of grabbing that bowl and spoon.

And, like the Psalmist, I will yet praise Him.

What do you say?

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