September 2012

Being Thirsty

I know that at times I can look at life and decide that the glass is half empty. I was reminded of this when I was out and about quite early one bank holiday Monday and after I finished my errand couldn’t find anywhere to buy a cup of coffee. I had to drive for over an hour before I got home and made myself a cuppa. When I complained bitterly about this state of affairs later to Birgit, she didn’t quite feel my intense disappointment with life. She didn’t think that I had been truly thirsty; a drink was only an hour away.

Kenneth Bailey in his book ‘Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes’ tells of an incident that occurred to him when he wanted to examine some ruins near a wadi (spring/oasis) in the desert of Egypt. It was some years ago and the only way to get through the desert was by camel. Due to an accident some of the water skins had leaked away, and the situation became desperate as they ran out of water in the searing desert heat. The basic food became inedible to their parched mouths, and as they dehydrated their awareness and concentration shrunk in proportion to the growing headache. There was no option but to go on, trusting their guide who promised them that the wadi always had water. Bailey, like most westerners, had never experienced real, life threatening thirst. Obviously, they did reach the Wadi, and Bailey discovered the reason why the locals describe water as the ‘wine of God’.

In Psalm 107:8-9 it says ‘Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for all, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

On mature reflection, (no doubt prompted by Birgit!), I realise that most of the time my lot is pretty good. I seldom truly thirst or hunger, in fact most of the time I am filled with good things.

I wonder if part of the problem with our society – that means people like you and me – is that in all the variety and plenty most of us experience, we have lost the ability to be content with ‘just’ water and bread. But also I wonder if we struggle to be thankful because we have never really experienced being ‘thirsty’.

May you drink deep of the ‘wine of God’ and may you find fulfilment in God’s daily blessing on you. And may you be thankful.

September 2012