Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 6 - Thirsting for Filling

Psalm 42:1~As a deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for you O God.”
I think this is arguably one of the most poetic verses in the book of Psalms, the author paints the picture of a deer. The deer in this visual painting is panting, possibly suggesting he just finished running or is simply dehydrated or even both. The point is the deer is thirsty and there is only one source that can quench the thirst of this thirsty deer and that is water.

I will give you living water
The psalmist makes an interesting comparison, just as the deer is thirsty for water, so he himself is thirsty for God. Now any reader of scripture can say, “Oh yes, this passage! I have had this verse memorized since my youth.” And this may be true. But what I can’t help thinking to myself, what does it mean to be thirsty for God? What does it look like when you or I really desire God just as a deer yearns for water from a stream? 

Joyce certainly convicted me this morning, there are so many days I think, "If I only had..." or "If I just knew..." or "If that person would........I would be happy." Yet, even if these things occur, that I think should occur, chances are I will still not be satisfied.

Joyce talks about our ego this morning. That seems to be a reoccurring theme for me. I've been working through Ken Blanchard's book, Lead Like Jesus. Blanchard talks about my ego either Edging God Out or Exalting God Only. Rami Shapiro in Recovery, the Twelve Steps as Spiritual Practice, challenges me to acknowledge that it is by recognizing that I am powerless to control my life experiences out of ego-self that I can access the power of God within me.
"What are some of the thirsts of a deeper nature? What are the longings that arise from the core of our being? What are the yearnings of our heart in relation to our God? Some...might be:
Even when I am parched, the gift of
life is still there...God is present, waiting
  • peace of mind and heart
  • healing of old wounds
  • greater acceptance of ourselves
  • justice for anyone who is exploited
  • discovery of who we truly are
  • harmony with our families and our workplace
  • wisdom to make good choices and decisions
  • forgiveness or ourselves and others
  • freedom from false messages of our mind
  • reverence and enthusiasm for life
  • a willingness to hear God's voice (Joyce Rupp, Cup of Life, p 38)

     Breathing in: Thirsting, thirsting...
     Breathing out:...for you, God.

Holding your empty cup, let the emptiness of the cup remind you of your yearnings...or your thirst.  For what or whom do you most yearn?  Joyce then ask that I hold my cup close to my heart. Be thirsty for God. Be filled with God."

Psalm 63:
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 (Ps. 63:1)

I thirst for...
My spiritual thirst has been quenched when...
O God...

You know what amazes me?

I am amazed by how my thoughts from previous days seem to connect with Joyce's insights and the things she asks me to hold throughout the day as this study progresses.

I do thirst for the peace and understanding that can only come through a relationship with Christ. In my Lead Like Jesus sermon this past Sunday I quoted Marge Blanchard, saying, 
" Leadership is not about love, it is love.  Leadership is loving your mission, loving those you serve, loving those you work with, loving your family, loving your friends, and loving yourself enough to get out of the way so that other people can be magnificent.
 "To lead like Jesus, we have to love like Jesus. To love like Jesus, we have to serve like Jesus. To serve like Jesus, we have to submit ourselves to each other, and in the process, touch the very essence, the soul, of everyone we might influence."
Today I might say, "Living is not about love, it is love." During Lent we are reminded that Jesus submitted his will to the Father and in that act of submission Jesus was filled.  All those things I "thirst" for are only temporary "fixes" that never satisfy. I thirst to be filled with the Living Water Jesus spoke of when addressing the Samaritan Woman.

My spiritual thirst will only be quenched when I submit my ego, my desire to control life, to God.

Simple and "ordinary" words, yet so difficult to accomplish.  Which is why Jesus sent the Comforter/Sustainer to be with us!  I CANNOT submit my ego by my own will.  It is only through the grace of God and making myself available for Spirit to work within my heart, transforming me...filling me.

How does Joyce speak to you today? What have you identified as being thirsty for? What do you ask God for on this Tuesday morning?

God, I come to you, recognizing I am more like the Samaritan Woman than the deer of Psalm 42.  The deer, coming to the stream knows what she is thirsty for. Me, like the Samaritan woman, I am so caught up in the world, it is often difficult for me to recognize for what am I truly thirsty. Today, when I am physically thirsty, help me to pause and remember my longing to be filled by you. God, bring me near and as I rest within you, may my yearning and my thirst be satisfied. Amen.

God is gracious. God is a God
of second chances! Praise God!
I will deliberately let myself be physically thirsty. I will let my thirst remind me of my inner thirst for God.

(Left Click) The Power of Your Love

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

1 comment:

  1. Thirst - to be more like Jesus, to understand and apply God's word- We are not "left". We have been given God's word and the Holy Spirit here on earth. I desire to cling to these and reach for them. How do I teach my children of the Hope of Christ and all He provides. Do I yearn for Christ the way I was yearning for soda or sweet tea? It takes time to build a relationshiop in which you crave more. I am the one who doesn't enter - Chirst is always there - waiting and desiring the relationship. Psalm 63:1 "O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." I thirst of the "craving" and fulfillment of time spent in teh Word of God. I thank you for providing this blog to share in this study. Thank you Sandi. Praise be to God for knowing what is needed and providing it in His time and His way.