To Know Thirst

We Westerners rarely die of thirst. But unlike food, water also does not easily serve as an addiction. So, in typical Western fashion, we take it for granted. (No, by water I don’t mean coffee, tea, or soda or even flavored water drinks. Yes, they all have a lot of water in them, but so does shampoo…)

Most of us know mild thirst. We know what it feels like to get a little desperate for water. What we often forget, though, is that water needs to be consumed more by the following groups:

Overweight (most of us)
Anyone with a salty diet (most of us)
Anyone who consumes alcohol, coffee, chocolate, soda or tea on a regular basis (most of us)

Chronic fatigue, asthma, joint and muscle pain, headaches, and many other health problems can be helped if not cured by water. I know this from my own experience with fatigue and sleeplessness. Water is God’s gift to us, a constant reminder of his provision and an enormous medical resource for those of us who live in developed countries.

For the people who have known true thirst, like many people in developing nations and people with dehydrating diseases here in the ‘burbs, water becomes an obsession. It can happen to anyone, just add a little E. Coli or a dried up community well: conversation, hopes, dreams all become…water.

Perhaps that is why, to a desert people in constant need of fresh water sources, God said, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters.” We might take him seriously, but we also need to take him literally.

Join in!

Have you known thirst? What was your experience like?
Do you think you need to be drinking more water?

4 Responses to “To Know Thirst”
  1. Claire says:

    I don’t think I’ve known true thirst, though I will say that hypothyroidism does create a constant and insatiable desire for water (until it is medicated, thankfully!). I’ve been trying to drink a lot of water each day for the last few years. I try to drink a 24 oz water bottle by noon, one by 3pm, and one before I eat dinner. I find that if I succeed in this, I feel great but I am constantly drinking. At the end of the day, I still want more!

    What a luxury that it takes NO effort for me to find clean water to refill that bottle.

  2. Michael Miller says:

    “When the poor and needy seek water
    and there is none,
    and their tongue is parched with thirst,
    I the Lord will answer them;
    I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
    I will open rivers on the bare heights
    and fountains in the midst of the valleys.
    I will make the wilderness a pool of water
    and the dry land springs of water.”

    I love this quote from Isaiah 41 so much.

  3. Katinka says:

    I have gotten migraines since I was a teenager, and I find that drinking a lot of water (though not too much, or I don’t have enough electrolytes) helps me avoid them. Summer is always harder for me because of this–the heat and humidity mean that we need so much more water than in the winter! And when I lived in Honduras, and we only got water every 3 days, I became much more aware of the concrete hardships related to not having clean water readily at hand.

    Thinking about thirsting and images of it in Scripture…we know that they’re metaphors, meant to tap (ha, no pun intended) into our sense of lack, longing, or real physical need for water. But in a class last night we were talking about heaven and “what we will do there.” In discussing the Scriptural images of eating and drinking and resting and worshiping God, the question, “Is that all?” came up. As in, “Are we just going to eat and drink and rest forever? Won’t we get bored?” As we thought more, we contemplated the reality that for most people in the world, throughout history as well as today, the questions of what I will eat and how will I get clean water and when will I get my work done occupy most of every day. (Just think of people surviving in Haiti right now…) For us, though, who have way too much luxury and comfort, it’s tempting to forget that food, water, and rest aren’t just givens, or even necessities–they’re blessings that help us remember God’s faithfulness!

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