I don’t know about you, but the trials we all are facing these months have driven me to drink.
Not beer. That smells nasty to me.
Not wine. I don’t care much for it.
But chocolate malts.
Mmm, so good.
I hadn’t had one in a coon’s age, but recently I have been indulging myself often.
But that is not the drink I came here to talk about.
John Piper wrote: “God seldom calls us for an easier life but always calls us to know more of Him and to drink more deeply of His sustaining grace.”
These pandemic days I have been ‘driven to drink’ more deeply of God’s sustaining grace.
Mmm, so good.
Thirst. What is it?
Simply put, thirst is a feeling. A physical or emotional or spiritual feeling of dryness, of craving, of longing.
Thirst shows me that my body or my spirit needs something vital if I am to thrive.
It is an uncomfortable sensation that moves me to action, to do something to relieve it.
It was my third year in Ethiopia and the circumstances of life were overwhelming me.
I’ve told the stories before, how living on a remote mission station was hard for me, far from family and friends, surrounded by serious poverty, and I often felt grieved and useless and isolated and bored.
I longed to have a job, a purpose like the other women.
It was a dry and thirsty time.
Every two years, our organization offered a conference. Most of the missionary workers lived remote; it was important to gather together and each conference was a significant week for me.
But that year God planned something very personal to prove His sustaining grace.
The first time I went into the large room, I saw a clipboard with signup options to meet with a counselor. I quickly got a slot.
It makes me so happy remembering Becky from California.
I complained to her about my life, the challenges and frustrations, the grief and depression, how everyone was busy in their work and I had no job. She asked me questions, leading to the simple idea of asking the busy missionaries if I could shadow them in their work.
Later when I told the other women about my depression, I felt God’s grace through them as we worked out a weekly schedule for me. On Tuesdays I went out into the community with a nurse, visiting newborns or checking on latrines. On Wednesdays I went to the clinic for devotions and prenatal visits. On Thursdays I went to the local school to help out with art projects. On Fridays I played with the homeschool kids. And late afternoons or evenings, I would write out the interesting stories I had lived that day, to share with others.
I had a job! I was a shadow cheerleader!
During that thirsty season in Africa, I was ‘driven to drink’ of God’s grace many times.
Recalling how He always sustained me gives me great pleasure and complete confidence in Him for these days.
Thirst is a gift from God.
Have you ever thought to thank Him for the many times He has quenched your thirst?
Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water . . . it has no worries in a year of drought. Jeremiah 17