Do you find it hard to thirst for God? The image is nice, but the reality is harder to experience. Why is it so easy to get distracted from the experience of quenching our thirst for God? It seems that everything else takes precedence. The one experience that will bring priority and wisdom to all other realities in this world is a connection to God, yet it is the hardest to maintain. It’s so much easier to connect to the stack of bills that must be attended to or the trash that needs to be collected before the priority of thirsting for God.
How did David stay so focused? He was running from enemies that he knew he had no strength to conquer. If we have any hope of thirsting for God, we must begin with humility. Perhaps the reason that all the other things take precedence is because we feel adequate to do those things. We don’t thirst for God to show us how to order up our day; rather we dig in and in the digging forget that He is there at all.
What made a saint a saint was their insatiable hunger for God. No matter how disconnected they felt from God, they believed that He would not give up, always thirsting for God. We are like the saints. In reality we too should all find ourselves thirsty. In fact, most of us have reached the point of dehydration when it comes to God. Think of your hydration level for God right now in this moment. Where are you on a scale of drinking fully to on the brink of dehydration? Just thinking about God right now connects you to His living waters in your soul. Does it wake you up to the reality that your soul is in desperate need of connection to God? Do you feel the hope of slight quenching of your thirst?
Everyone wants to thirst for God, but not everyone remains open to the nourishing waters. He longs to pour into our souls.
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5
Our awareness of our thirst for God begins with our humility. We awake to our foolishness in placing all that we prioritize above God and then finding ourselves thirsty. When we become aware of our thirst for God we may feel that we are in a desert with no oasis in sight, yet we must cling to hope that our thirst can be fulfilled.
Another reason we tune out to our thirst for God is that our thirst seems so unquenchable. The saints failed over and over to fully receive all that God wanted to pour into them, but they kept getting back up. We are so far from the way God intends us to think, feel and experience in this world. It is slow progress to become fully restored. We turn back too easily. Francis Fernandez exhorts: “Let us develop these desires with the virtue of hope: one can only effectively desire something when there is hope of attainting it. If we consider some aim to be impossible and not for us, we will not really desire it; our theological hope rests on God” [i].
Psalm 63:1 says:
“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.”
Let’s humbly recognize that what our souls thirst for is not found in this dry and weary land. We need humility and hope in order to earnestly seek God‘s satisfaction for our thirst.
[i] Frances Fernandez, In Conversation with God (Book 2), ( Scepter: New York, 1987) p. 431.