It’s that long, cold drink, after running or working in the yard on a hot day, that satisfies. The cold refreshing water pouring down my throat quenches every cell in my being, after all the moisture has evaporated from my parched body. Gulp. I can’t get enough. A sip won’t do. I want more. Gulp. Chug. I want it pouring down and overflowing. I am dry. I don’t want coke or lemonade, but only one thing will do, ice cold water.
We all know the “dying of thirst” feeling after standing in the sun at a football game, a hard workout or even after eating some overly salt-saturated fast food. As the weather cools, I oftens forget to drink deeply, a sip seems enough. God, in the same way, longs to be soul satisfying, just as a deep drink waters my body. On desperate days–when the tire explodes, the storm blows, sickness goes on and the work grows, I might feel my need to be watered deeply. I can tell I need the overflowing drink that satisfies. On regular days, when I am not so desperate, I can forget this. Many days are just regular and monotonous–the messages keep coming, the laundry waits, the exams repeat, and the kids need to eat. It cycles through to only start again. Eventually, sip, and another sip is not enough. Soon, I find this out in one way or another. I am dry. Then I am very dry. What I need is long, slow drinks. I need to drink deeply from God’s supply and with God at my side.
Regularly, I need to come be with God for a longer, extended time so I can get more than a sip from the living water. Yes, one sip makes me want more sips, but I need time for long drinks. This is difficult of course, in our click and scroll world. In a second we can connect, share, and like. We can do this in line, at the light, at a game, and wherever our phone goes. We stay connected, but these are little sips of connection. My relationship with my husband would not go very deep, if I just posted on his wall, liked his photos and sent him short messages with smiles. We need more time to be together and connect. I need to give myself more time to pause and wait. I need space to connect and listen. Sips are good and help keep us going, but long drinks give us depth and longevity.
I like psalm 73 a lot. One portion of it says this:
“Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. With Your counsel You will guide me, and afterwards receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My heart and my flesh may fail, but God is the strength on my heart and my portion forever. For, behold, those who are from from You will perish; You have silenced those who are unfaithful to You. But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.” (Psalm 73:23-28)
This reminds me that a long drink is like taking the time to hold onto the Lord’s hand. When I am walking with my youngest son, we often hold hands. We have the time to hold hands. When we cross the street together we hold hands as a protection. When I take time with the Lord I can sense His hand holding me. It is also taking the time to receive His guidance and be reminded of what is true and what He values. As I take this long drink, I become satisfied in Him and His precense becomes my good. It protects me.
How can I do this, and take more time? Of course it looks different for each person. I can tell the difference it makes for me, if once a week I have extended time to be with the Lord, soak in His word, journal, and have more time to pray. This has sometimes come by getting away on a Saturday morning, or going to my room early for bed one night. In college, I found time in a corner of my sorority house early in the morning or between my classes at the chapel. There are seasons of life where we may “seem” we have more or less time. But I think in all seasons, we need this time for a long satisfying drink–a time to pause, close off distractions and and open our eyes and ears. What I really need is to give myself time to linger. I need to wade and not dip. I need to dawdle and not run. I need to reflect and not scan. I need to be still and not rush. I need to open up His word and be amazed. I want to have the time to listen to His repeated melody and His lovely words. I need a stroll holding His hand with a long cold drink.