Thirst

Week Four of our Lent resource

When life is comfortable it is very easy to slide into doing things on our own. However, when we are lead out beyond our own boundaries or understanding we soon come to know our limits.

Finding ourselves suddenly vulnerable can be scary. But if we press in, that vulnerability can reveal the deeper yearnings beneath the surface. What is it we are really longing for?

This week we are reflecting on what it means to thirst, and how we can rely on the God who brings water out of the rock and springs in the desert to sustain his people.

Exodus 17:1-7

17 The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, travelling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. So they quarrelled with Moses and said, ‘Give us water to drink.’

Moses replied, ‘Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?’

But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, ‘Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?’

Then Moses cried out to the Lord, ‘What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.’

The Lord answered Moses, ‘Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.’ So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarrelled and because they tested the Lord saying, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?’

Sometimes feeling scared or exposed can bring out all of our doubts and insecurities. We suddenly recognise that we have no power over our current situation, and ask the question; “God how could you have lead us here?”.

Like the Israelites who had been rescued from slavery and sustained by God in the desert, we can be quick to doubt his goodness when things feel out of our control.

A Prayer

God of the parted seas

Forgive us for when we doubt your direction. May we remember the chains that you have broken, and the freedom that you continue to lead us into.

God of the cloud and fire

Forgive us for when we are blind to your presence. Holy Spirit may we be more aware of your work in our lives and always be open to your prompting.

God of mana in the desert

Forgive us for when we forget what you provide. You are the one who truly sustains and fulfils us, help us to let go of the things we try to grasp for ourselves.

God of water from the rock

Forgive us for when we are closed off to you. Water of life, we ask that you would fill us anew. Pour into the dry and cracked places of our hearts and wash us clean.

Thank you that your grace covers all,

AMEN.

Reflect

Picture this…you’re sitting in a dark cinema, the screen illuminating your face. You’re comfy in the chair, waiting for the film to start screening. You’re excited. And then during the adverts, a wave of Coca Cola fills the screen. Suddenly your taste buds come alive, your throat dries, and your brain tells you one thing.

I’m thirsty. I need a Coke.

Now you’re sitting there, trying to decide if you have enough time to run out and get an overpriced drink before the movie starts…

Yes, that’s probably just clever marketing, and yes maybe we’re probably just getting manipulated into believing we need something that we don’t. But on the other hand maybe we’ve just been reminded, awoken, to the fact that we’re thirsty.

In our rush to get to the cinema, buying the tickets, finding our seat, and getting settled for the film, we’ve overlooked the fact that we are in fact thirsty. And it just so happened that a Coca Cola advert highlighted it. And now we’re aware.

Take some time now to think about what you’re thirsty for.

It’s time to awaken thirst.

If you’re thirsty for Coke, I apologise…but let’s think bigger and wider than a parched throat. What do you thirst for? What is it in your life that needs watering?

Where is the thirst?

Now bring these things to God – the God who provides water from the rock in the desert – and know that the Lord is among us.

Video: One Thirst

Use this song from Bethel Music to create a space to think, awaken your thirst, and bring it before God:

As we hear the final lyrics ‘Hallelujah. Come.’ invite God to come into whatever your thirst is. It can be general, or very specific – he is the God of both. Be open to Holy Spirit revealing the parts of your life that are hard and dry, and let him pour in to bring refreshment and new growth.

Finally, ask yourself how you are going to move into a space of watering and provision in the days to come? What needs to change, what needs more of your time, or less of your time? How can you be filled and how can you let that spill over into the lives of others around you?