Have you ever noticed that there’s either too much water or not enough water? It either rains too much or it doesn’t rain enough. The rivers are either flooding or they’re too shallow. We seldom have just the right amount of water.
I was recently reminded just how precious this commodity is, especially to those who don’t have access to clean water. On our trip to Haiti earlier this month we installed water filters in a number of homes. Many Haitian homes, perhaps most Haitian homes, do not have running water. That means that someone has to carry water from the closest source, a river, a well etc. It’s normally the responsibility of the younger members of the family to keep the water buckets full. We passed this young girl going for water as we were installing filters. It’s a scene that you see over and over again in a country like Haiti.
In preparation for our trip and installing the filters I did a little research. Did you know that 780 million people in the world don’t have access to clean drinking water (2.5 times the population of the United States)? Or that 3.4 million people die each year from water related disease (that’s equal to the city of Los Angels). One estimate is that 80% of all diseases are somehow related to the lack of clean water. And for a few families we were able to change all of that with a simple water filter.
Water is often mentioned in the Bible. Perhaps the most familiar passage is Psalm 23:2 – He leads me beside still waters. Another passage that mentions water is Psalm 63:1 where King David, perhaps reflecting back on a time when he fled from his enemies into the deserts of Judea wrote, O God, you are my God; earnestly 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.
Several years ago I had the opportunity to tour Israel. We spent some time in the wilderness where David had been. It is dry. The average rainfall in some parts of the desert is less than 4 inches per year. David understood what it meant to not have access to life-giving water
But David wasn’t concerned about the need to seek out a good water supply. He was concerned about his relationship with God. His point is that as followers of God we should desire Him in the same way that a parched man in the desert craves for water. Our souls should thirst for Him. Our bodies should grow weary and faint if we do not spend time with Him.
How often have we longed for that kind of relationship with God? How often have we thirsted for God? To know Him better? To spend more time with Him? To worship Him? How often have we said with David earnestly I seek you!
God’s desire is that you seek Him. But we get too busy, we don’t have enough time. So He takes us to the desert – to times of barrenness for the soul. His purpose is not to punish but to cause you to thirst for Him. When you find yourself in that place the answer is to spend more time with Him, not less. To thirst for Him more.
When you said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to you, “Your face, Lord I will seek. Psalm 27:8
Stay in the Word