Thirst

I did not know how thirsty I was until I took the first sip.

Last night, I had a great opportunity to ride the metro for the first time with some friends. In order to do this, however, I had to skip dinner in the mess hall of where I am staying. I was perfectly okay with this because I was not a fan of the meal being served. By the time the metro fun was over, my group was very hungry. So, we did what any group of friends would do, we stopped for food.

We went to a place that was famous for its biriyani. However, I ordered a parotta because I get biriyani quite often in my mess hall. The parotta came with a reddish-looking sauce that had a whole chili pepper floating in it. I have been a little more gutsy with the spices lately, so I took a bit of my parotta and dunked it like an Oreo in a glass of milk. To my surprise, it was not as spicy as I expected, but it was still higher on the spice chart than what I was used to.

I continued to eat it with no problem. As I enjoyed my meal, I utilized the cup and pitcher of water that was sitting in front of me on the table. after every few bites I would take a sip of the cold refreshing water to help balance out the spice. I did not know how thirsty I was until I took the first sip. It almost became addicting to drink (not that that is a bad thing, right?).

Throughout the meal, I am pretty sure I refilled my cup at least five times. Living in a country where it is almost 100 degrees each day and where the humidity is unbearable, I am encouraged to drink a lot of water. There is much fear that with the heat and the amount of walking I do, that I will fall ill from dehydration. This concept of drinking a lot of water is so hard for me to grasp.

It’s only a struggle for me because of my surroundings. Sure, the heat makes me thirsty and want water more… but what happens when you drink a lot of water? You tend to need a restroom more often than not. At home, in the U.S., I admit, I probably would not have this problem. Then again, when I am there I am not as concerned about my H2O intake either.

The problem lies in the fact that I do not always have a restroom readily available to me. I spend at least two days out of my week in hamlets and villages where most homes do not even have a toilet. Once we are in the main city area, many public places do not have public restrooms. In fact, if they do, such as at the train station, you will have to pay in order to use- and that’s if the bathroom is even working!

On the other days, I have access to a a very nice, and usually very clean, Indian style toilet. If you do not know what an Indian style toilet looks like, please click here. The problem with this is that on those days I am inside and typically under a fan. I’m not usually quenched for thirst and do not think to drink a lot of water. Take heart, I have not yet fallen ill from not drinking enough water.

As I sat in this air-conditioned restaurant, chowing down on my parotta and basically inhaling the pitcher of water in front of me, I became aware of something else. When we go for days on end without spending time with God, we do not realize how thirsty we actually are until we drink from His living well again. 

There are times when we may do a really great job of spending amount of time reading amounts of scripture and saying amounts of prayers. We also have times where x, y, and all equal 0. In these times, we think we are okay spiritually. We say: there is nothing inherently wrong with my life right now and I am trusting God with my future, or, I know He’s with me. Then, we may fall into the thought process that skipping just one day of quiet time with the Lord isn’t going to hurt anything.

Before I go any further, let me ask you something, when you neglect to spend time with someone you love and care about, does that hurt the relationship you have with them?

Exactly.

When we “opt-out” of spending quiet time with God daily, we are hindering our relationship with God. Now, I am not saying that God is forsaking us and is not with us. I am saying that we are choosing to spend time with other things besides God. We are prioritizing other things above God. And that, hurts God.

He longs to spend time with us. He longs to reveal things to us in scripture.

So, back to the concept of water… even though I did not realize how thirsty I was when I was eating, I figured it out when I took the first sip. For too long I had let the environment influence my actions of drinking water. And I suffered from that because I did not get to enjoy the satisfaction that drinking cold water on a warm day gives.

Are you allowing your environment to influence your decision to daily drink from the living well? Are you choosing to “opt-out” of the daily satisfaction you can get from spending time with God each day?

Dear friend, I want to encourage you that even if you have, God is still there waiting for you. He is longing to spend some time with you, waiting to take your relationship with Him further! Render your heart to Him and let Him be your priority.

“‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.'”

|John 4.13-14|

Step Out 

// October  11 & 12 // 

I am aware that I completely missed October 11. To be honest, I did not know what to write about. I sat in the prayer room digging through my thick pool of topics, but nothing intrigued me. In fact, I actually ended up falling asleep. I am going to attempt to incooperate both days into one. 

First, I woke up Wednesday morning at 5:30 am to be at work on time. You can bet your bottom dollar that the first thought that went through my mind was “Lord, please let them send me home early”. Well, God answered that prayer and I got to leave two hours early! It was such a blessing and gave me time to rest from being sick. 

Today, I accomplished a personal goal. A few months ago some friends and I that were brought together with the likemindedness of missions gathered around two small tables at the smallest Starbucks I have ever been to to talk about things we could do to spread missions on our college campus. I had this idea of asking students that had been on a missions trip or had cross-cultural engagement experience to speak to other students and share. 

I didn’t think it would ever happen because our missions club fell through for the semester. But God gave me another outlet- through the cross-cultural engagement office that I work at. When I told my boss, he was all for it. 

I began contacting people, applying for it to be a spiritual-formation opportunity (so students grt credit for being there), and just asking the Lord to guide the evening. Well, tonight it finally happened. 

Now, let me tell you, usually when I am trying to lead something or put on an event of some sort, I get aggravated easily when things don’t go as planned or when people don’t respond. But this time was different. I felt so calm about peaceful about it. When a student told me last minute they couldn’t speak, I quickly prayed and God provided another. 

I wasn’t nervous speaking in front of a small group of people, but I actually enjoyed it. The best part, however, was hearing the students speak about their experiences and how God shaped their hearts and lives from the trips they took. It truly was an incredible experience and I am honored that the Lord allowed me to help plan it. 

That being said, I want to encourage you to step out. Take that leap of faith. Trust the Lord with your dreams. He is BIGGER and MIGHTIER than all of your dreams. Know that if you submit to Him, He will bless you greatly and make your dreams come true. 

When we lean on the Lord and show Him our dependence for Him, He opens doors and uses us in ways we never imagined possible. Three years ago if you asked me, I would never have thought I’d even be capable or adequate to put on an event like this. The Lord can take those insecurities and reign in victory over them! 

Step out my friends! Step out! Just like Peter, we too can walk on water when we fix our eyes on JESUS. We just need to step out! 

“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. Matthew 14.19

The Living Well

There are things in this world that we desire. There are things that we just long to have… maybe a new car or a new house, maybe it’s a relationship, or maybe it’s just something as simple as a new TV. But you see, we get these things and we always desire more after. It’s just not enough to fill our needs.

We have all heard this, but I’m going to say it again. We always think “if I could just get this, then my life would be better”… about a little over a year ago my first car broke down. We tried to get it fixed, but it was old and no one knew how to work on it. Every day I would get frustrated because I had to use my mom’s car, find a ride, or just stay home. I would go onto car sites and look up my dream car (a Ford Escape). But every time I showed one that looked halfway decent to my parents they just shrugged their shoulders and said “maybe”. But I knew that meant “stop looking, you are not getting a new car”. To me, all I could think was that if I could just get a new car, life would be so much better. I could drive myself places, I could drive my friends places, and I could get to work without having to bum a ride.

Now, Lord willing, we inherited a car from a family member. It wasn’t a super nice car. It wasn’t a new car. In fact, it was older than I was. But, it barely had any miles on it and my parents thought it would be perfect for me. We got some minor repairs done and it was mine (or at least mine to borrow). I didn’t really like the car. Actually, I hated it. It wasn’t what I wanted. But it got me from point A to point B safely. I hated driving it. I just wanted something of my own.

I continued looking for my own car to purchase. I didn’t even have money to buy a car (considering college was just around the corner), but I was just thirsty for something more. It did not satisfy me. I half expected the car to break down soon because of how old it was, but it had been a year and a half of driving it everywhere (to work, to and from college, to random adventures, through snow storms, through an accident) and it hasn’t broken down once. We had to get new brakes, but other than that, the car is blessed (knock on wood!).

My point isn’t that we should just suck it up and take what is given to us with no complaints, although that is a good argument, but rather we need to recognize that having all these things is not going to take away our thirst. They are not going to satisfy us like we think they are. If anything, they may drive us away from where we need to be (no pun intended in my scenario).

John 4.13-14

Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life

Friends, I don’t know about you, but I want that water! I want the living water that will take away my thirst! We have to realize that these things are never going to satisfy us like the living well will.

wp-image-1866291966jpg.jpegIn context, this is what Jesus is saying to the Samaritan woman at the well. Her response is exactly what our responses should be (John 4.15):

Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty, or have to come here to draw water.

Through her conversation with Jesus the Samaritan woman realized something. She was tired of being thirsty. She was tired of constantly having to go to the well to retrieve something to drink, and then to have to do it again because it does not quench her thirst! She heard about it, and she wanted it. She wanted a taste of the Living Water.

Aren’t you tired of searching for the things in life that satisfy? Aren’t you tired of finally finding that one thing that you have been wanting, maybe even dropping loads of time, energy, and money into it, but then to come and realize that you are still thirsty? That the drink that you took wasn’t nearly enough? Don’t you long to feel full and satisfied? Don’t you long to have a spring of water welling up inside you to eternal life?

I tell you, come to Jesus. Come and drink from His well of life! Come experience satisfaction and fullness! You will never go thirsty again. Don’t drink from the well of life, the water of this world, but drink from the well of Jesus, the Living Water.

Come to the alter and let the precious blood of Jesus Christ wash over you.