Thirsty for God

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God” (Psalm 42)

It was supposed to be just a short hike on a warm, sunny day. I left the ubiquitous water bottle in the car and was soon sorry for that decision. The warm dry air quickly dried out my mouth and throat. I was uncomfortable the entire time and missed much of the beauty of that little hike – the song of birds, the rustle of leaves, the smell of grass, the view.

We thirst for God, and in that thirst we miss the beauty that is all around us in nature, in our family, friends, and neighbors, in the world. Our thirst turns us inward on ourselves and our misery. It consumes our entire attention and robs us of the joy of the journey. The “thirst-quenchers” of this world, laced as they are with spiritual sugar and salt, just leave us thirsting for more.

God is always near, much nearer than we realize. “By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me.” He is near in the thirst-quenching water of Baptism, in His Word, in the Supper, in Jesus – a refreshing spring of forgiveness that flows from its source in His spear-wounded side, the stricken Rock of our salvation and Source of living water.

Come to Him, who promised living water to a thirsty Samaritan woman, who stood in Jordan’s water in solidarity with sinners, and who thirsted on the cross for your salvation. Come to Jesus and be refreshed.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6).

Listen to this rendering of Psalm 42 by Palestrina, a composer of the Renaissance.