I have concluded that sometimes it’s a serious disadvantage being Scottish and no I am not talking about football! Those of you who know me well are probably slightly shocked at that confession as generally I am fairly proud of being Scottish. ( I am of course making use of that well know and endearing Scottish trait of understatement there ) However today I was reminded that being born in Scotland means sometimes I don’t understand the full power of statements in Scripture.
Last week I was in Scotland where June was doing more than a half decent impersonation of January, with rain being about as persistent as a Jehovah’s Witness at the door. This week I am in Gozo a small island off Malta which sits in the Med off the North African coast, here the weather has been scorchingly hot. Today we were in the main city of Gozo called Victoria ( think more quaint small town than great urban metropolis ) The combination of the sun around noon and the concrete roads and stone buildings created furnace like conditions. I found myself getting thirstier and thirstier until when we got home I knew that the only thing I wanted to do and the only thing my body would let me do was to drink. Needless to say I quenched my thirst.
In another one of those examples of what I think is clear evidence that God has a sense of humour part of my readings tonight included these words from the Psalms
Psalm 63:1 You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
Normally I would have read those words without much further thought but tonight they had added meaning because I had some small experience of what thirst is like in a dry and parched land. After only an hour or so in the hot sun my deepest desire and what was dominating my thinking was to drink. Thirst in a hot and dry country must be the strongest, the deepest, the most powerful of all human driving forces.
The Psalmist explains his desire for God to people who came from a climate much more akin to Gozo than Glasgow. By saying ” I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” He is saying that the most powerful force driving his life at that moment was for God, that in the same way the sun in hot country gives you a desperate and insatiable desire for water, he had a desperate an insatiable desire for God. I got a little reminder of just how powerful that desire really is today.
Now for my second confession. I’ve been reflecting on all of this for a while and have come to the conclusion that it’s been a while since I have had a desperate and insatiable desire for God. It’s been a while since I have wanted to drink in God’s presence as much as I wanted to drink water today. I have decided to turn this verse into prayer, to ask God to make me as thirsty for him as the sun here makes me thirst for water. I wonder if you were being honest if you can remember the last time you were desperate for God? If you can’t I invite you to join me I’m prayer for a God given thirst for God which only God can quench.