We have a new puppy who is now about 4 months old. She weighs just over 3 pounds. So when we go for a walk on a warm summer day, she gets tired and thirsty. She sometimes lags behind me when I walk her because she’s scared of something or tired. When we turn the corner towards our house and she see’s our driveway, she starts pulling hard on the leash. She knows she’s reached home. Once unleashed inside the house, she sprints to her water dish. There she drinks down water to satisfy her thirst.
Sometimes we experience a deep thirst for God. We cannot wait to spend time with Him or run to Him or thank Him for some great blessing.
Yet other times, the thirst may not be that desperate. Why might that be? One reason is that we try to satisfy the thirst of our souls with other things. We may try to escape into movies, binge watching TV shows, dream vacations or endlessly scrolling through social media. By the end of such pursuits, we’re exhausted or we may even feel worse. Or we pursue satisfaction in something that gives us a pretty quick physical sense of satisfaction – snacking; drinking; thrill rides, extreme adventure. Yet though these might temporarily satisfy, they cannot deeply satisfy our soul thirst.
So how might we recover a soul thirst for God when it’s not there? One major way is through prayer. We need God to restore, renew and revive us. We need a fresh touch from Him. Sometimes God waits to refresh us to test and sift our desires. Do we really desire Him? Or do we just desire to feel good?
So we pray and continue to pray something like Psalm 80:7 – “Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.” Through such persistent prayer we might go through a detox or detachment from those things we tried to find satisfaction in apart from God. Then our true soul thirst begins to rise up again.
Another way we might recover soul thirst for God is through hardship. Sometimes, the only way we realize our misplaced affections is when some difficulty arrives in our lives. No amount of TV watching or gaming or social media surfing will deal with it. Then we recognize the displacement of our desires. Psalm 42:1-2 begins to describe us. “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” Then our lives get reoriented towards God and finding our soul satisfaction in Him.
The challenge is to maintain such a focus when life goes well. We can easily slide into the belief that “we’ve got this and we don’t really need God.” Maturity recognizes that any time life goes well is a supreme blessing from Almighty God. It is an occasion to praise and thank Him deeply.
“O Lord God, my soul finds ultimate rest in you alone. ‘For You alone, my soul waits in silence; from You comes my salvation. You alone are my rock and my salvation, my fortress (Psalm 62:1-2).’ Help me persevere in prayer to find that deep satisfaction in You.”