Thirsting for the Right Thing

We have all hit the “wall” at numerous points in our lives. It’s that place where you just can’t go any further, no matter how hard you try.

Cold Water to a Thirsty Soul

My wife and I were on vacation recently at the beach. She has been running 100-plus miles per month for a while now. So you’d think a little morning run at the beach would not have much effect on her, but it did. A couple of factors contributed to her dilemma: her body was exhausted from the rigors of travel, and the humidity was much higher than usual that morning. Somewhere around the four-mile mark she hit a “wall!” She could not go anymore. It wasn’t a 911 moment, but she was done, and she desperately needed a drink of water.

We happened to be at a park where the city workers were busy with their daily tasks. I approached one of them and asked if there was a water fountain nearby. The gentleman replied, “There’s water from the sink in the public bath house back on the corner.” I thanked him for his time, but I knew that my wife would not get water from there.

The gentleman sensed my disappointment as I turned to walk back to my wife. “Is the water for her?” he asked, motioning toward my wife. I nodded and he walked toward her. She happened to be right beside his truck. He opened the door, reached into his personal lunch cooler, pulled out an ice-cold bottle of water, and handed it to my wife.

“Like cold water to a thirsty soul…” (Proverbs 25:25)

That’s all it took! With a sip of the cold water, she was suddenly refreshed. She simply needed someone to care enough for her to share a little cold water. With a couple of sips, she regained her composure and finished her run.

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 42:1-2)

We’ve All Been At the Ministry Wall

Like Paul, we all want to “finish the race” in ministry. But from time to time we “hit the wall”. Whether you’re just beginning in ministry, or nearing the end of your course, it is easy to give so much that you exhaust yourself. At such times, we can end up thinking like the psalmist: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?” (Psalm 42:11)

And we wouldn’t be alone in those moments. The Bible is loaded with examples of people who did likewise: Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Jonah, Saul, Jeremiah, David. Speaking of David, even skimming his psalms you will see it regularly!

Water From the Right Source

When we “hit the wall” in life, it is important that we choose to drink from the right source. Some choose to drink from the well of self-pity or depression. Others choose inappropriate relationships or other sinful behaviors, thinking they will provide comfort or relief from the pain. But these inadequate sources can be far worse than drinking from the bath house sink.

When we “hit the wall” in life, it is important that we choose to drink from the right source.

God made man to thirst both physically and spiritually. He made us to desire something to quench our spiritual thirst that is just as real and refreshing as that drink of cold water was to my wife. God actually made us in such a way that ONLY HE can truly satisfy that deep thirst and desperate longing.

God actually made us in such a way that ONLY HE can truly satisfy that deep thirst and desperate longing.

And cold refreshing water for the soul from the right source brings us to the same conclusion as the writer of Psalm 42: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” (Psalm 42:11)

If your soul has been in turmoil or at “the wall,” then get some cold, refreshing water, by digging into God’s Word. Go read Psalm 42 right now. As you meditate on it, let it direct your worship toward the Lord. Praise God right now that just as a deer pants for water, so your soul was made to pant for Him. Praise God that He made you to long for Him just as you long for cold water during a hot, humid run. Praise God that He will give you the water for your soul that you long for, that He alone is able to provide. Praise Him that He is your hope, your salvation, and your refreshment along the way.

If your soul has been in turmoil or at “the wall,” then get some cold, refreshing water, by digging into God’s Word.

We came to learn that the gentleman who came to my wife’s aid was named Richard. Richard sacrificed the water he had set aside for his lunch to help my wife in her time of need.

You, too, can be a “Richard” to someone today. Call someone you know and give them a drink of ice-cold spiritual water! God may prompt you to give some refreshment to a random stranger; He just may use it to help that person finish their daily run.

God may prompt you to give some refreshment to a random stranger; He just may use it to help that person finish their daily run.

“And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42)

Copyright © 2019 Mike Mitchener. All rights reserved.

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Mike Mitchener is the founding and Senior Pastor of Westside Fellowship in Elon, North Carolina. Mike has been in local church ministry for nearly 25 years. Prior to that, he had a very successful business career. He is a board member of Strategic Renewal and serves on our speaking team. Mike and his wife, Stephanie, have been married for 30 years. They have three sons, two of whom are grown and married, and were recently blessed with their first grandchild.