By Mitzi Brown
Today’s post is based on Psalm 63.1 (NLT), “O God, you are my God; earnestly I search for you, my soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.” (emphasis mine)
Sometimes life’s circumstances lead me to feel parched and weary. That’s one reason I do not dwell on the daily news. It seems like there’s enough bad news and negativity to go around without spending hours each evening ingesting more. Anyone? For me, it is life-sucking rather than life-giving and can divert my attention from higher matters. Sure, it is good to be informed about the state of affairs locally, nationally and globally – I just need to limit my exposure because it can be really draining. #weary #parched
Let’s be honest with each other – we are friends, right? Often there is so much negativity – such depressing stuff – it seems like nothing good is happening. The good certainly is not the headline grabber in the nightly news, right? And God. “My soul thirsts for you”, I want, need, desire, require your hope, filling, healing, absolute goodness to be made manifest and inescapable in my heart, mind and soul.
This particular Psalm, as many other Psalms, was written by David, the King of Israel. The language he was inspired to use here is important. David refers to that dry, desperate, parched feeling of being weary and beaten down. I relate sometimes. Life is hard, right friends? Sickness, persecution, mean people, grumpiness, death, separations, relationship struggles, work problems, financial woes, the list goes on.
David talks about his soul thirsting and his whole body longing, panging, and desiring refreshment that he knows is only available from his good living God. Have you ever been in that place where your emotional pain physically hurt? It sounds pretty desperate and like he is in deep need for God’s touch in this verse. We can all probably relate to moments or seasons of life that feel that way. We wonder if it will ever end and what it might feel like to find that refreshing peace and joy of God again. Really, it does not matter how long you’ve lived – whether a child, adolescent, or various stages of adulthood – every era carries different kinds of heaviness. Different types of wounds and weight. Varying degrees of wounding, pain, dryness, loneliness, and hurt. Those things tend to compound and grow heavier without intentional intervention and the searching that David speaks of in this passage.
The name of my counseling practice, “The Well Therapy”, actually comes from this idea of thirst for God – the living water that Jesus describes in John 4. If you are unfamiliar, Jesus encounters a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well. First of all, it would have been culturally inconceivable for a Jew to be engaging with a Samaritan who were considered unclean heretics, and maybe even less popular for Jesus to be having a one-on-one conversation with a Samaritan woman – scandalous maybe even. And this particular woman ventured out to the well for her daily water in the mid-day, not when all of the other women would have gone in the early day before the heat became brutal. You see, this woman was probably scorned and gossiped about - even in Samaritan society because she had been married five times and was currently living unmarried with a man, the sixth man. A shameful situation. She may have been the recipient of uncomfortable sidelong glances from other women – you know the kind. But Jesus did not offer scorn. He also did not sugar-coat her circumstances. He did not make excuses for her to make poor decisions and live in sin because she’d had a rough life or lacked the ability to provide for herself, which might have been a reason for her to be cohabitating with a man who was not her husband – in that time women without husbands and extended family to care for them often did not fare well. He did not do that because there is no justification for sin. Sin breaks God’s heart because it damages our hearts and our relationship with Him. #sin #cohabitation #brokenrelationships
Instead, Jesus offers her a healing relationship that will, if she accepts it, provide refreshing, healing and hope. He offers her living water and tells her if she partakes of this relationship she will never be parched, desperate, longing, lonely, or panging again. He offers her the opportunity to drink from The Well. Not Jacob's Well, The Well -- Himself. #healing
This refreshing is what David speaks of in Psalm 63:1, “my soul thirsts”, “my whole body longs”. Centuries before Jesus was born – probably between 1011 and 971 BC these words were likely penned because that is when David reigned as King of Israel and most commentaries believe the words were written during his reign. I find these parallels in Scripture between David writing of thirst and longing for God and the encounter at Jacob's Well inescapable - not coincidental, rather inspired. #refreshing #inspiredWordofGod
If you are like me, we often feel as David did here – persecuted, rejected, fearful, wounded, hopeless, and deep longing. But David knew precisely where to turn. We have his amazing words inspired by God to guide us today. Be filled. #befilled
Other passages today:
Psalm 27:4 (NLT) The one thing I ask of the LORD – the thing I seek the most– is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.
Psalm 34:15 (NLT) The eyes of the LORD watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help.
What is God speaking to you as you ingest this? Be filled!