Wednesday, December 31, 2014

John 7:37 -- On Staying Spiritually Hydrated

"In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink."
John 7:37

It is clear that Christ is not just talking about physical thirst, but what is he talking about?  Do we have a spiritual thirst?  I think we do, but sometimes it is hard to recognize.  When we contemplate church, we don't always feel it.  Sometimes church can seem boring or repetitive, as can the scriptures.  Sometimes we don't seem to have a thirst for any of it.  ... I think, though, that other times we feel it more clearly.  We are around people or in an environment that might make us feel uncomfortable, or in a situation that feels unsafe or sketchy, and suddenly we feel extra alone, and we need some back up or a way out.  In our extremities, we often feel that thirst.  A need for solidity, for trust, or for safety that we just can't get on our own, so we turn to God.  And it makes sense to turn to God when we can't handle things ourselves, but it is also a little sad of we're only missing him, or feeling that spiritual thirst, when things are going badly.  It's like only talking to your family if you're having a bad day. :)  Not sure they are going to appreciate that. :)
Maybe the point here is that we always have that need.  We have to drink water every day to stay alive physically, and spiritually it is much the same.  We're wandering around in a virtual desert here, and even going one day without water can sometimes mess us up.  Even if we don't feel parched, water is still essential to life.  And even if we get so used to having God around that we start to take advantage of it by not appreciating church or the scriptures or the gospel as much as we should all the time, it doesn't mean that we don't need God anymore or that we've suddenly become spiritually self-reliant. :)  If we drink regularly in a spiritual sense, then we might be able to avoid those crisis moments where we wonder how we got here and feel completely alone and wonder if we will ever get back to being okay.  We can add a lot of peace and contentment to our lives if we just keep well hydrated. :)
Today, even if we aren't having one of those black-hole days where God's absence is palpable, let's remember that our spirits still thirst.  Let's do the things that will keep us spiritually healthy.  Let's try not to take our blessings for granted, and let's get down on our knees, renew that connection with God, and pray sincerely that God will help us never forget our need for him.

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