About three weeks ago I had oral surgery and consequently initiated a steady diet of pain killers and antibiotics (actually the antibiotics were needed because of an infection in my finger, but the point is I was on heavy meds.) A couple of weeks after the surgery I started developing a horrible case of dry mouth. Man, oh man, this has been very uncomfortable! What started as a nuisance has turned into a very painful situation, to the point of tears. I’m assuming this extreme dryness has been a side effect of the medication (took my blood sugar just in case, and thankfully, it’s not diabetes.) I’m drinking water by the gallons, chewing gum to hopefully stimulate my salivary glands, and every other trick I have found on the internet. And still no improvement.
I haven’t journaled (is that a word?) in a while, and today, as I turned on my laptop, I got to thinking that my blog’s title is “Like a Deer Panting for Water”. The deer reference, of course, is Biblical and it points to the need and desire for God. In the words of King David: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:1-2) So here I am, thirsting in my physical body, and the thirst is so strong that it actually hurts and it keeps me from sleeping at night. There are times in the day when I can barely talk and I feel like I’m suffocating. And even though I am not at all happy with this condition which I hope is temporary, today I am thankful for it. God is not-so-gently-but-very-wisely explaining to me what thirsting for water really feels like, not only in the physical sense, but spiritual.
True, unsatisfied thirst is painful and strong enough to drive us to do anything to obtain hydration.
In the physical sense, thirst can only be satisfied temporarily. If we stop drinking water, we die. Plain and simple.
In the spiritual sense, there is one water that is living and able to satisfy not only temporarily, but eternally. Jesus said in John 4: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again (referring to earthly water) but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Spiritual thirst is very real, but we don’t always identify it as such. It is only when we find the source of living water that we can look back and realize that we have been given life-sustaining nourishment for our souls.
Even though spiritual water is eternally satisfying, in a sense, we won’t enjoy that complete delight until we are face to face with the Lord. For now, we have a need to continually seek, pant even, after the water only He can give us, in the daily fellowship of the Holy Spirit and the feeding of his Word.
In both senses of the word, I’m thirsting. I’m in desperate need to alleviate this non-quenching dryness in my mouth, and I’m in DESPERATE need of God’s continual flow of himself in my soul.
Unlike the deer panting for water who will not be satisfied with anything other than water, my soul often wanders after water-substitutes. Lord, may you fill me with a passion and a drive to seek after you as if my life depended on it (cus it actually does). Drive me to your word and to prayer. Help me to listen and grow.
Thankfully, I have experienced having spiritual thirst before. And I have been satisfied by God. So understanding my need and knowing where to find the answer for it is not an experiment nor is it a mystery. Thirsting after God has been and will continue to be my drive from the moment I came to faith the Jesus until the day I depart this earth to be with him. Everything I need is in him.