Thirsting Souls

stillnessAs a deer pants for flowing streams,
    so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
    for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?

(Psalm 42:1-2)

It’s not hard to recognize the thirst of our souls.  It shows up in our longing to love and be loved.  It shows up in a nagging discontent that reminds us that we were made for more.  It shows up in a desire to live free of the sin that robs our joy.  When we wonder if we even matter, that’s thirst.  When we wonder if it’s all worth it, that’s thirst.  So much of the story of our lives can be told through the thirst of our souls.

It’s not wrong to thirst.  It is, in fact, inevitable.  But we get ourselves in trouble when we try to satisfy legitimate thirsts in damaging ways.  It’s not wrong to feel lonely but wasting two hours on Facebook isn’t going to satisfy the thirst for relationships.  It’s not wrong to be discouraged but there’s no happy hour long enough to address the root causes.  It’s not wrong to ache for meaning but it’s crazy to think a nicer apartment is going to satisfy our souls.

God built thirst into our souls so we would seek Him.  He did it so we would never forget we were made to live in relationship with Him.  He did it so we couldn’t get very far without missing the One who made us.

All of this is so simple.  Satisfy the thirst of our souls with God, not substitutes.  Don’t feed our souls garbage when they long for divinity.  The hard part is remembering it in the moment.  So, at some point today, you’re going to feel thirsty – run to God, not a substitute.  It’s that simple.  But it’ll be the difference between having your thirst satisfied and having your thirst intensified.