Psalm 143: 6 I spread out my hands to You; my soul thirsts for You like a parched land.
Psalm 42: 1-2 as the deer pants for the water so pants my soul for You, o God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When I think about a parched land, I envision hardened ground crisscrossed with wide cracks. And then I think about how hard and cracked I get at times before I realize how thirsty my soul is for the living word of God.
Why is that? I mean, when my body is thirsty, I don’t hesitate to drink something. Anything. Wait…that’s it! How many times does my soul cry out and I drink something other than the living word of God?
How many times does our attitude reflect a hard, cracked, thirsty soul? And what do we seek to quench that thirst? My mind goes to things like chocolate when I am grumpy, or shopping when I am stressed. It’s like my habit of drinking coke when I am thirsty. It’s good going down, but my body soon shows the stressed signs of dehydration because the ‘coke’ did not have the water my body needed.
As a mother, I learned to recognize the stressed signs of dehydration the first time my youngest came dangerously close to being hospitalized while battling the flu. After that, I learned the ‘tricks’ to get water into those little bodies at the first sign of dehydration.
This is our lesson today; to learn to pay attention to the early signs of dehydration of our souls and know what we must do to douse it with doses of the living water of God. What are your signs of dehydration? Do you know them and can you recognize them early, before your soul is hard and cracked?
For me, the image of a hard and cracked soul brings to mind angry responses, defensive attitudes, bitter thoughts and hateful words. Self pity and depression can be indications as well. What about you? What does your hard and cracked soul look like in the flesh?
Just as I learned to respond quickly to the signs of dehydration in my children, I’ve learned to quickly respond to signs of a parched soul as well. I take a clue from David in our featured Psalm today:
“I spread out my hands to You”
Have you ever tried it? I highly recommend it. It’s like a child who runs out into the rain, lifts her hands, looks up with mouth wide open and catches the drops that fall from the sky. She finds such joy in this and begins to spin and laugh, all the while catching more of the falling drops. Now I am quiet, reserved and introvert by nature, so I first tried this when I was all alone. It was a day when my parched soul had made me weak and the world around me was pressing in. The Lord led me to this particular Psalm and my heart connected so completely with David’s words. And so I spread out my hands, lifting them up to the Lord as I cried out for Him rain down on me. The tears came as I felt the joy of each drop fall from my Father onto my parched soul. Go ahead try it. If you like, turn on some praise music and sing out to God.
Our recipe today is to Feed Our Thirsty Soul. The ingredients are from Psalm 143:6 and 42: 1-2. And the directions are to learn to recognized the signs of your parched soul and to lift up your hands to the Lord for His living water.
Father, hear my cries and rain down Your word on me. I come to You parched and needing a long drink from Your living word. Teach me to recognize the things I turn to when my soul is thirsty; things that fill the place Your word belongs. Give me a desire to turn to You first, Lord. I spread my hands out to You and I find great joy in receiving Your living word into my life today.