Thirstiness is a gift. I don’t know how much liquid you drink in a day, but according to current health trends, we should all be drinking about 64 oz of water a day (and it varies for men and women, and by your body mass). If you don’t drink that, there are a lot of problems that begin to happen in your body: thirst, dry skin, poor digestion, weakened immune system, headaches, fatigue and if you go long enough without liquid at all—death. Drinking water has been proven to give you energy, improve digestion, facilitate weight loss, flushes out toxins in the body, yields a better complexion, and satisfies your thirst.
So you see, thirstiness is a gift. It’s the body’s way of communicating to you that it needs water. To prevent the cascade of body failures and maladies that loom ahead, the body cries out for more water through your thirst. And nothing quite satisfies a moment of thirst like taking a cold drink. It refreshes the body and even lifts the mood. There is a longing in us for this satisfaction. The longing goes far beyond physical thirst, however. We long for it in our moods, in our relationships, and in our spirit. It is a gift. I love how Solomon states in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that God has placed eternity into man’s heart. This insatiable longing, so that we can never be fully satisfied, we’ll always long for more of God, to know more of what He’s done.
Are you thirsty? Do you feel dried up and withering from lack of spiritual water? Draw close to God, the living water so that you may experience the truth of his words, “Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled.”
Try sipping from these five “cups” to satisfy your thirsty soul. They have helped me immensely in times of emptiness, loneliness, discouragement and spiritual drought.
1. Saturate Your Heart with the Gospel
The greatest cause of spiritual dehydration is attempting to drink from your own success, pride, effort, or the approval of others. In the end, this leads us to lives of insecurity, frustration, depression, and anxiety. Ultimately, it leaves us yearning for love. The cure is to drink from God’s success and revel in God’s glory. Instead of self, rely on Christ’s effort and accomplishment of perfect obedience, his sacrificial atonement for your (and my) sins and shortcomings. Instead of putting all of your value in who others want you to be, look to God’s acceptance and approval of you as his child through Christ. We are seen through Christ, our value is in Christ, and as such, this is our great encouragement.
2. Read Biblical Narratives
God loves stories. I can confidently declare that because the entire Bible is a story. A large percentage of it is specifically “narrative.” And this is great because we don’t need simple instruction manuals, and self help short-code. What we see in scripture is that God connects with people where they are. He connects with them crying and on the run (Gen 16:7-14), or hiding with the wheat and convinced of great weaknesses more than the strength of God (Judges 6:11-16). He engages and pursues the rebellious preacher who runs away at his command (Jonah), and the fugitive murderer with a lisp (Moses) and the gentle young confused virgin girl who would soon find herself pregnant out of wedlock (Mary) and the stories go on and on. Narratives help us see the interaction of God with the hurt, with the wayward, with the scared, with the abused, with the wise, and with the fools. It brings us into all the emotions, questions and failings of man—and we can all relate to them all!
But there is a caveat, you can’t read with the viewpoint of “being better, holier, purer, braver, stronger, more confident like so-and-so.” Scripture isn’t about that. It has certainly been used like that over the centuries, but is isn’t the central message of the bible. Look instead with a heart that says “God is so amazing to hear his people even when ____; to save his children despite their _____; to love endlessly and desire for the salvation of all people, even when they are actively __________.” This will lead us to our great and joyous pleasure of being children of a God who loves wholly and pursues endlessly. The one who demands perfection that we can’t achieve, only to turn around and give us His perfection through the gospel of Christ. Come up under that God and drink deep from the water he freely offers. He is not waiting for you to impress him with your gifts, your prayers, your actions or your emotions—just take the water.
3. Be Thankful
Rejoice in the Lord and think about things that are worthy to spend time on (Phil 4:4-9). It is difficult to make a thankful person depressed. They know all the things that they have that they don’t have to have, the benefits and blessings that they have been given. This person, when they are truly focused on this, and thankful for it, is difficult to keep down. There are an abundance of things in your life that you can be thankful for, write them out. Thinking about them peripherally is good but will not accomplish the same result. Put it in writing every day. Look back over the list of things, and thank God for them. Whether it’s the bed that you got to sleep in, the food that you were able to eat, the pain that you aren’t experiencing, the people in your life. Whether it is an itty bitty blessing or an enormous one, write it down all the same.
Spend time thinking about the people who have really been an encouragement to you in your life. Did you know that those people go through hard times too? They struggle in life, they have dry periods. Write to them, thank them for how they effected your life, and be very specific. There is nothing better than reading a note that someone has sent you of genuine thankfulness! And there is very little more uplifting than writing one!
4. Have Coffee (or water) with an Encouraging Friend
One of the greatest allies we have against sin, loneliness, depression, and wandering is the counsel of a wise friend. Not all friends are good friends, but surround yourself with those who will lift you up, not come and tell you how dark the pit really is. There is a biblical mandate that I love to be reminded of in Hebrews 3:13 to exhort one another daily, any day of the week called “today.” Isn’t that awesome? God knows that we need constant encouragement, constant uplifting, constant togetherness for the benefit of keeping our hearts from wandering from him and being hardened in sin.
5. Serve Others
When we spend too much time receiving. Too much time focusing on what we are or aren’t getting, so quickly we turn in on self. It causes us to turn away from others, to turn away from God, to be mopey, downcast, negative, grumblers who complain and bite and are otherwise unpleasant to be around. I know, I’ve been there for extended times in my life. But here is the gem, when we let go of our “rights” and what we “should” have or what we “deserve” and instead turn to the needs of others—giving, serving, and loving them—we gain something we couldn’t when we were only focused on ourselves — the mind of Christ (Phil 2:5-7).
These are only a few of the things that can help when feeling dry.
What do you do in times of Spiritual thirst? What uplifts your soul?