THE SOUL’S THIRST FOR GOD

“My soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and weary land, where no water is.” — Psa 63:1

THE LONGING of the soul for God only makes itself felt when all lesser delights and earthly joys are relegated to their right place. If you are not conscious of this soul-thirst it is because your heart is trying to satisfy itself from the world, and is engaged in digging wells that can hold no water. The woman rightly said to Jesus that she came all the way to draw water, because there was no alternative; but as soon as He satisfied her soul-thirst by opening the spring within her, she “left her waterpot.” Most of us are so occupied with business, pleasure-seeking, moneymaking, and trifles, that we have no time or care for God.

“My soul shall be satisfied” (Psa 63:5). It takes very little and very much to satisfy the soul. Very little of this world. As our Lord said to Martha, only one thing is really needful. Yet very much, because anything less than God will not suffice; more, we cannot ask. To desire God is to have Him. To thirst for the water of life is to drink of it. Therefore our Lord says: “‘Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness.” Let us not long for things and people which are not here with us. We may be in poverty and deprivation and loneliness, yet all things and all people are ours at this moment, because we have God. Why not, here and now, say: “I have God, and therefore I have all that is good in every one and every thing!” Why should the fish lament, which has the ocean to swim in?

“My soul followeth hard after Thee” (Psa 63:8). God sometimes seems to withdraw from the soul, as the mother will release her hold of the baby who is learning to walk, so that it may be encouraged, without knowing it, to follow her as she retreats with outstretched hands. Did not Christ withdraw from the woman, inclining her to follow hard after Him (Mat 15:21-28). So let us “follow on to know the Lord.”

As we close this portion, let us ask if we can truly repeat the first verse. Can we say of God: “Thou art my God”? He is ours, but we must seek Him. We must, so to speak, build the fences of our faith in an ever-enlarging enclosure of God, our Father and Portion. It is not enough for the emigrant to have what he calls “a claim.” He must open up the resources that lie buried in his piece of land. The diamonds of the Cape were first discovered through a child playing with a white stone, but they have been sought ever since.

PRAYER O God, some of us are full of infinite desire. Wilt Thou open Thine hand and satisfy our longings. Be nigh unto us as we call upon Thee. Hear our prayer and save us. AMEN.

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