2002-06-03 - Spiritual Gatorade
Psalm 42:1, "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God."
A few weeks ago, my two cats multiplied into five as they committed parenthood. The kittens are cute and last week began to eat and drink on their own. I had the experience of watching one of the kittens discover water for the first time. Once he realized that it was desirable for drinking, he went back time and time again for more. In a matter of minutes, I counted six times that he returned for more. It was cute to see the perplexed kitten learn that this water was good and that it satisfied him. To some extent, it is analogous to what the psalmist says above in Psalm 42.
As I watched the kitten discover water, I thought of this verse because it was clear that once he discovered that water was good, he could not be satisfied with just a small portion. He wanted to be filled. I was amazed at how much he took in and then kept going back for more. Even so, our soul longs for God. The longing after Heavenly things can only be filled as we grasp upon the things that our soul desires. We can look to fulfill our desires elsewhere, but the soul can only rest when it latches upon the living God. When it does, it keeps coming back for more. The soul of both the Christian and the non-Christian can acknowledge that they thirst, but only the Christian can add, "for Thee, O God."
To thirst is to have an eager desire after something. This is why we read in Matthew 5:6, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." It is that desire after Christ's righteousness that is called thirsting. It is again likened to a desire after things that satisfy, in the book of Isaiah. We read this in the first known rap song in all of literature, Isaiah 55:1, "Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost." To satisfy thirst is also linked to a desire for the influences of God's Spirit in Isaiah 44:3.
There is every reason for us to learn from the behavior of my little kitten. He thirsted, and when he found what satisfied his thirst, he returned until he was satisfied. So we ought to learn where our spiritual thirst can be satisfied, and seek to be filled. We find that our thirst for the things of God are satisfied in communion with God. I think that communion with God is fulfilled in at least four ways: prayer, the study of God's Word, fellowship with the saints, and the Sacraments of the Lord's Supper and Baptism. We are prone to forget the significance of the last, but this is only to our disadvantage. As we quench our thirst through these means of grace, our soul is satisfied and amazingly, our thirst for these things is only increased. May the Lord make us thirsty followers of Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria,