“O God, you are my God, 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 (NRSV)
Some years ago now one of our church’s pastors called on an older member of our congregation. She later related to her daughter that one of the church’s pastors had visited her, but she could not remember his name. She was able to describe him. She told her daughter that the pastor who came to see her was the one who takes care of his body. With that description you have most likely eliminated one, which is me, and are undecided whether the one of whom she was speaking was Dr. Negley or Dr. Larson. So you now have a 50/50 chance of guessing the identity of the pastor. Actually, the one, of whom she was speaking, is our marathon runner and avid golfer, Dr. Larson.
I readily admit that I don’t take care of my body as I should! I feed it well … too well, in fact, although not necessarily with the good or the best foods for it. I do see my physician and my dentist annually to semi-annually. I don’t regularly exercise and readily find many excuses for not doing so. And, I don’t even keep my body as well hydrated as it should be. I don’t walk around with a bottle of water, partly because I am not really a water drinker and I prefer other beverages. Sometimes I go for hours without drinking any fluid, and that is not good.
The result is that I become dehydrated! When I do begin drinking I find it hard to slake my thirst. For example, I do enjoy working in the yard and I may go 2 ½ to 3 hours without drinking anything. From my appearance and that of my clothes, it is clear that I have become dehydrated. On other occasions I can be so focused on what I am doing that I don’t take time to drink. The outward signs may not be obvious, but I may be just as thirsty as when I worked in the yard for some time. When I begin to drink, it is as if I cannot get enough to satisfy my thirst.
If we have experienced such physical thirst and known how satisfying it can be to drink water or other beverages, then we can consider our spiritual thirst … our need for God … and how that thirst may be slaked through meditation on God’s Word and prayer. Truly we need God to slake our spiritual thirst as much if not more than our physical bodies need water and fluids to remain hydrated so as to function well. There’s more to taking care of our bodies than just exercising, and so perhaps I need to pay more attention to quenching my physical thirst and slaking my spiritual thirst, too. How about you?
Blessed Redeemer, You said to the woman at the well, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty.” Like her, our plea is, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty.” Help us to recognize our thirst and to quench it with all that You so graciously provide. Amen