ACW

ACW

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Are you thirsty? by Lynda Alsford

I have been thinking about being thirsty this week. I realised over Christmas that the change in routine meant I also changed my routine about how I spent time with God. I was still doing my morning readings most days but the deeper times of prayer seemed to be put to one side. Extended times with God, just sitting in His presence, or walking along the cliff tops near to my home chatting to Him about my day, evaporated in the busyness of Christmas. 

I noticed by New Year I was feeling out of sorts. I wondered at first why that was as I had a fantastic Christmas. But that didn't stop me from feeling the more difficult emotions quicker. I wasn't dealing with them as well as normal. I was more stressed and more short tempered. I was less able to resist temptation. I realised last week it was because I was thirsty for God. I had forgotten Him despite Christmas being all about Him. I was sipping at my time with Him rather than drinking whole glasses full of Him so to speak. All these feelings were symptoms of my thirst for God. 

When it comes to physical thirst, we get more thirsty in certain circumstances, when we are being more energetic, or if we are in hotter conditions that normal. At those times we need to replenish more fluid. We drink more water.

In my experience, there are times when we may be more spiritually thirsty. Maybe we are going through a hard time, or life is really busy. If so we may be more thirsty than normal. But do we recognise the spiritual thirst for what it is?  Or do we interpret our spiritual thirst as something else and try to satisfy it with something else?

Many of us have busy lives and we may be more spiritually thirsty than we acknowledge. We may be working hard to achieve that deadline looming up. We may be enjoying what we are doing but it doesn't mean we don't get thirsty. I find walking along the cliff tops really inspiring but it still makes me thirsty. 

I'd like to encourage us to take time to drink deeper of the spiritual water Jesus was talking about in the first of the two verses below. It is free as the second verse highlights. 

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again.  But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:13-14 NLT 
“Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink— even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk— it’s all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David. Isaiah 55:1-3 NLT 
Some of my most restorative times with God are not those when I intercede for people or crises around the world. It is not the times of more in depth study of the Bible. It is times when I put on my favourite meditation CDs (I love Liz Babbs meditations), when I simply rest in God's presence. 


May I encourage you to drink deeply of the water Jesus gives. 



Lynda Alsford is a sea loving, cat loving GP receptionist and writes in her spare time. She has written two books. He Never Let Go describes her journey through a major crisis of faith whilst working as an evangelist at a lively Church in Chiswick, West London. Being Known describes how God set her free from food addiction. Both books are available in paperback and on kindle on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. She writes a newsletter, Seeking the Healer, in which she shares the spiritual insights she has gained on her journey. Sign up for this at her website,www.lyndaalsford.com. Lynda blogs at www.patch-work-blog.blogspot.co.uk

8 comments:

  1. Isaiah 55 was one of the set readings after Christmas. Perhaps it is a time we all need to be reminded about this! Sue

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  2. Isaiah 55 is such a well-known passage but sometimes I think I take it for granted. I know God is teaching me at the moment about coming to him as I am simply telling him everything that is really going on inside me and allowing him to fill me with what I need

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  4. This is interesting: if God knows our hearts, 'and from him no secrets are hidden' then we don't actually need to inform him about our lives: so, what you must mean here is, telling him in order to share, because he wants us to want to do that consciously, for our own benefit rather than for his information. We can't keep stuff from God ... though we may, as you imply, 'not allow him' to work within us. I'm not arguing to be difficult, I am looking at how we see God and how we understand our relating with Him.

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  5. So true - and we can't "give" to others through our writing in any meaningful way if we are not full ourselves. Great post.

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  6. Absolutely Mari, you have said what I meant actually. Thank you for writing your comment. I was very tired and stressed when I wrote this and it didn't come out as I meant. But yes, I meant that we need to share for our benefit not his. He already knows what we need. For me it is part of being real with God, telling him what is really going on in my heart. And then remembering who he really is. The actual petition part of our prayers doesn't need to be long and drawn out as he does already know what we need. The rest is relationship, building on how we live out our relationship of love with a heavenly Father.

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  7. I look at it this way: prayer to God is a privilege, because having a part in his great work is a privilege.

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  8. Thanks for the comments everyone. Deborah, I agree that we need to be full ourselves so we can give out to others via our writing. And yes Rosemary prayer is such a privilege. We get to converse with the creator of the universe. Amazing.

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