For some reason, I still remember the sound of the radio voice. It was summer in Kansas City (Missouri). It was hot and humid. I left the office about noon en route to Office Depot. My car had been sitting in the sweltering sun all morning. I was driving down Oak Park Trafficway, listening to the radio, and pulled into the parking lot of the Office Depot. Just as I turned into the lot, a commercial for a certain brand of ice tea came on. The announcer talked about how wonderful this tea was and he poured it over ice. I could hear the crackle of the ice through my speakers. Then he sipped the tea and the next sound was:
Now that was the sound of relief, enjoyment, and satisfaction. I almost immediately thought, "I have got to have something to drink!"
When the "creek is dry" (your life or mine), it is natural to want relief. The question is, "What will satisfy?" The Psalmist writes:
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Ps. 63:1)
This writer is convinced God himself will satisfy. In fact, he goes on to say "My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods…" (63:5)
OK. Not so quick. I don’t know that all of us are necessarily sure that God himself will deliver us from this dryness. I’m not so sure all of us (I’m referring now to Christian people) are convinced that God himself satisfies.
Some of us are addicted to self. "If I could just get what I want, then I would find satisfaction." Mark Galli writes,
We are addicted to self like some are addicted to alcohol. One small drink leads to two, two leads to four, four can lead to drinking binges. And with each drink, it is more and more difficult to get control of oneself; the alcohol skews one’s judgment and sabotages the will. The more one drinks, the harder it is to stop, the harder it is to hear people telling you that you must stop. Any alcoholic–anyone addicted to anything will tell you that. How much more for those addicted to a self-centered existence. (Mark Galli, Jesus Mean and Wild, p. 97)
Some of us thirst not for God but for his gifts. Some of us thirst not for God but for a feeling we would like to have. Some of us thirst not for God but nevertheless desire to use to him to get what we want. After all–we live a self-centered existence.
Stephen Charnock wrote in his 17th century class, The Existence and Attributes of God, the following (forgive the older English):
A heart quickly flitting from God makes not God his treasure; he slights the worship and therein affronts the object of worship. All our thoughts ought to be ravished with God; bound up in him as
in a bundle of life; but when we start from him to gaze after every
feather, and run after every bubble, we disown a full and affecting
excellency, and a satisfying sweetness in him. When our thoughts run from God, it is a testimony we have no spiritual affection to God…
Bottom line–In God himself, there is a satisfaction that can be found nowhere else. Maybe the question is, "Do I look to God with my thirst, trusting that he, himself, will satisfy? Or, am I still focused on myself, thinking that if I could only have what I desire, then life would be good?"