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Thirsty by Design

"But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." John 4:14

Sand grouse flock by the hundreds to thousands every morning after a flight of up to 100 miles to drink from scarce tiny fresh-water springs in the heart of the arid desert. They first drink for their own thirst, taking in the cold water to replenish their flight-dehydrated bodies…then they wade into the shallow spring, dunking themselves over and over again to absorb and store the life-giving moisture in specialized breast-feathers for delivery to their chicks waiting miles and miles away. Once home, chicks "watered", it's time to forage for food, and then rest… and then at dawn, fetching water is once again the first priority for the desert-dwelling sand grouse.

Scientists credit "evolution" with this bird's amazing ability to absorb and retain water in its breast feathers. Actually, our amazing Father God, in His supreme creativity, designed them for that purpose; adaptation is wildly unlikely. Even the sand grouse knows its Creator, and serves its purpose without question.

As I watched a video clip of these remarkable pigeon-like birds dipping and rising in the narrow spring, soaking up enough water for their faraway families, the Spirit nudged me and whispered, “How far would you fly for water – my living Water?”

Two things immediately struck me:

First, that God designed my heart to, by necessity, journey daily to His Living Water for my spiritual survival: like the grouse to the spring, I was created to brave every obstacle imaginable to satisfy the thirst my Lord on-purpose placed in the deepest part of me.

And second, that I fail miserably at this. When I’m not dragged away by a wide assortment of distractions, I’m prone to put off the “flight”, choosing instead to remain in the un-guaranteed comfort zone of my nest. If I skip the trip to the Water, it won’t be long until there is a “dryness”: my own spirit will faintly realize that something is missing, then eventually the absence of the Water will weaken me, making me an easier target for predators… and finally, if I put off getting the Water long enough, then those God has put in my path to receive what I should have soaked in will also become dry, then weak, and then likely to fall.

Fascinated by the survival behaviors of this peaceful little brown bird, I looked for more information, and found this: “Sand grouse travel up to a hundred miles to their traditional water holes and tend to disregard temporary water sources which may appear periodically. This probably has a survival value because a dried up water source in an arid region could result in dehydration and death.”

Hmmmm… that seems to apply to Christians, as well: As long as we replenish our spirits from the reliable, always-there Spring of God’s Word, we will not faint or perish. Danger is ever-present as we are tantalized instead to fill up on the temporary satisfactions the world offers us, because those springs are often toxic, and they always dry up when we are thirstiest.

We are designed with a natural compulsion to seek out the Living Water of God’s precious Word daily, in the early part of the day, drinking It in, drawing strength and vitality from It…dipping into It until we are drenched from It, so that we can share It with those God has assigned to our “nests”: our family “nest”, and our “nest” of co-workers, friends, neighbors. They are thirsty, indeed, and we are equipped to bring them Water through our words and deeds.

If we will drench, then He will quench.


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