Psalm 63:1, Psalm 143:6, Matthew 4:1, Isaiah 55:8, Romans 11:36, Deuteronomy 8:3, Hosea 2:14, John 4:13-14
Have you ever been so thirsty that the waiter at the restaurant finally just brings you a pitcher so they don’t have to keep bringing cups to your table? Have you ever been so hungry that you order the biggest meal on the menu, eat it all, and still want more?
Or maybe the opposite.
Have you ever been so thirsty and reached for your cup just to realize it is bone dry? Or gone to the cabinet just to find it bare?
Those are examples of thirst and hunger that our bodies have. What about times when your soul longs, thirsts, and hungers? Have you ever thirsted and hungered for the Lord? Have you ever cried out for more of Him? Have you ever been in a desert place where you realized God was all you needed and He is all that would satisfy the deepest longing of your soul?
David- the man after God’s own heart- wrote about many different desert experiences he had.
Psalm 63:1, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” And in Psalm 143:6, “I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.” His soul was thirsty and hungry, and he knew where to find the remedy. In the midst of his desert seasons, he sought more of God. No matter who you are, where you are, what stage of life you are in, there are times when we have to walk through the desert.
God allows us spans in the desert to create in us a relentless thirst and hunger that only He satisfies. Then, He shows us His relentless love for us as he satisfies those needs with Himself.
Even Jesus experienced these desert times. Matthew 4:1, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” It is especially important here to notice that the Spirit led Jesus into this desert time.
While our flesh is repulsed by this idea as it seeks comfort above the will of God, we have to remember that God’s plans are better than ours (Isaiah 55:8), and His plans are always for our good and His glory (Romans 11:36). Any desert that we are in we can be confident that God is with us. Looking back at Jesus’ time in the desert, it is important to note that the Spirit led Him, went with Him, and did not leave Him. In Jesus’ time in the desert, He sought strength and fulfillment in the Word of God.
For all thirsting and hungering we do, we can be confident that God will fill those needs, wants, and desires with Himself in a way that is bigger than anything we could image.
In God’s relentless mercy, He sometimes allows us to thirst and hunger in such an insatiable way that only He can satisfy to draw us back to Him.
Deuteronomy 8:3 is one example, “And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” God allowed His people to hunger and thirst in the desert so that they would plead before Him and He could be their Bread of Life and Living Water in every way.
Hosea tells us more of this. In 2:14 we ready, “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” Sometimes, it is the most gracious thing God can do for us to take us into desert places so that He can show us that He is better than the world. To show us that He loves us and desires us more than the world ever could.
Anytime we seek the world and the things of the world more than Jesus, our souls will begin to long for its truest desire, Jesus.
Thankfully, we have the remedy. John 4:13-14, “Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” When we thirst, when we hunger, when our souls are so dry, turn to the Lord. Cry out to Him and He will fill you with His love that makes our cups run over.