As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? Ps. 42:1-2
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, ”If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ’Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:37-38
Dear Lord Jesus, there’s no craving more demanding than thirst. It’s neither patient nor polite. When we get thirsty, we’re usually quick to slake its unrelenting demand, one way or another. Thirst will not be denied. We’ll do almost anything to satisfy our thirst.
Because this is true, we join the psalmist in crying out: Jesus, intensify our thirst for you. Keep us panting, craving, longing; like the deer which pants after streams of water—the unpolluted, undistilled, never-ending brooks of your bounty.
Quickly drain the broken cisterns of our own making. Don’t let us be even momentarily satisfied with any other beverage than the draft you draw, the potion you pour, the life-giving libation you alone can give.
If we take up King David’s lament, “When can I go and meet with God?” you answer back without delay, “Right now, my beloved; do not wait. If you’re thirsty, come to me and drink.” “Whoever believes in me, streams of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:38).
If we should say, “But Jesus, where can we find you?” you answer back even quicker, “Not in the law; not in your strivings; not in your labors; not in your earnestness; not in your self-loathings; not in your vain promises; but only in the gospel. Come and fall into the rivers of my love. Stand under the cascading waterfalls of my daily mercies and free grace. Open your heart wide to my never-ending, always-sufficient supply, and I will fill you to overflowing with everything you need and more than you want.”
Even so and evermore, Lord Jesus, school us well in panting after you. May we never be content with our current experience of the gospel—always craving more. Fill us afresh that we might be a people to the praise of your glory and grace. So very Amen we pray, in your all-glorious and all-generous name.