As The Deer (Shepherd’s Echo)

[The Shepherd’s Echo is a reposting of a previously published TheShepherdsPen.]

I recently read about a man who had a medical condition called polydipsia, it is an uncontrollable desire to drink water. He would drink from any source and he would drink until his body fluids were so diluted that he would pass out. The mechanism inside his brain that told him when he had ingested enough was stuck in the “off” position. Something inside this man is telling him he is constantly in need of more water, that he is thirsty.

My mind immediately thought of the passage of Scripture Psalm 42:1-2,   “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” How I wish I yearned to drink the Living Water of God. How I wish I had polydispsia in regards to the Lord, that I never felt a quenching, that I continued to want more, that each drink only served to encourage yet another drink of the Lord. How I wish my soul longed for God as the Psalmist declared, but I must confess, it doesn’t.

Now, I am not happy to admit that, but I must acknowledge it is the truth. A man who is thirsty is obsessed with finding the next drink. I cannot honestly say that I spend each passing minute looking for the Lord, immersed in His Word, obsessed with my next drink of the Lord. So what is wrong with me? Why can’t I have that yearning of which the Psalmist speaks?

Let me offer this as a suggestion. I do not have that obsessive desire because there are too many options on the menu. I am not saying I am distracted looking at other gods, but merely that I am distracted. The world is full of choices that pull me away from my selection of water. As far as beverages, I can choose a soda, or an artificially flavored drink, milk, tea, coffee, juice or I can choose an energy drink. Now they will not be the same as a large portion of water, but they will certainly dull the desire to search that out for a while.

I’m convinced the same is true when it comes to God, we allow other alternatives to come into play. Perhaps we get lost in TV, or a book. Perhaps we are consumed by a project, or a relationship. As a result, our desire to spend time with the Lord is dulled, or shoved aside. We have no less a need for the Living Water, but we sate the desire with distractions. Sad to say, but we look for many ways to satisfy our thirst, only to our own detriment.

Christ promises in John 4, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Ah, there is a difference with the Living Water which the Lord gives, and mere water. The Lord’s water will quench thirst, as it will itself become a spring of water. So although we should desire and earnestly yearn for the water of the Lord, we cannot have polydipsia, because the Lord’s water satisfies like no other. That switch inside our brain tells us we are filled with the Living Water, and we shall not thirst again.

The salvation which the Lord gives, satisfies like nothing else. Nothing else can do what the Lord can. Everything else is artificial and temporary. The Lord said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” Don’t put it off. Drink up! Taste and see that the Lord is good! Psalm 34:8.