We are drawing to the end of our journey together in Heartbreakingly Beautiful. Over those last weeks of her life, Beth lost all ability to move any part of her body. So in order to change her clothing, we needed at least three people to roll her, hold her and care for her needs. As her mum, I could no longer bear changing her ‘nappies’ and hearing her painful moaning during the process. It was around that time that a couple of close friends came to my rescue and took over for me. David managed Beth’s personal care with the help of those treasured friends, and I am forever grateful for the care they gave my girl at a time when I no longer could. Those girlfriends who helped were deeply affected seeing Beth in her miserable plight, yet I know they cherished her and wanted to care for her while protecting me at the same time. Girls, the Lord saw all you did and your reward is great!
While we were living through Beth’s horrendous ordeal, the concept of any kind of ‘good’ coming from that miserable time seemed absolutely impossible! However, in the time that has followed since her suffering and death, David & I have come to recognize that God is using aspects of Beth’s life as a kind of metaphor to teach other seeking people some eternal, Kingdom of Heaven principles.
For instance, this week’s lesson on what it means to spiritually thirst. Have you enjoyed the sea theme of the book? The theme is not just for visual affect. It has been our hope and prayer that going deeper into Beth’s story has made you thirsty for much more than this temporary life can offer. Many have prayed over Heartbreakingly Beautiful that it would be ‘salty’ and make people thirsty for the righteousness of God and the abundant life He offers. Beth’s life ‘tasted’ different. She did not follow the flavor of the world in the way she lived and died. Indeed, in and through all her imperfections and trials, she was the ‘salt and light’ Jesus asked her to be and because of her testimony, many are praising God. (See Matthew 5:13-16.) Yes, many thirsty souls are learning what it means to BE Quenched with Living Water.
Jesus says this in Matthew 5:6… “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.” What are you thirsty for at the moment? I have learned that not all of my thirst needs to be quenched in the way I think it does. Maybe what we think we are thirsty for is not really what we actually need. Jesus Christ, the Living Water of God, offers to quench our deep, inner thirst like nothing else can. He invites us to come and drink from His well of life that flows like a never-ending fountain!
But sadly, I still take visits to other wells, other places of temporary refreshment in order to try to quench my inner thirst. Going to the Living Water takes discipline and the route to get to the well of Jesus usually involves such work as forgiveness, repentance, swallowing pride and moving through the cloud of negative feelings, etc. So, sometimes I try to take short cuts and drink from the ‘stagnant pools’ and ‘dirty cups’ I find along the way. Sources of ‘dead water’ that are readily found without me doing the hard miles. I get lazy and tired. Oh Lord help me learn once and for all that there is only one true Fount that can satisfy and that You are worth crawling over the hot, dry, rocky dessert to get to. You Lord are worth every single, painstaking step to the Source at the top of the mountain – please help me!
It seems from scripture that God’s people have always had the tendency to try to take short cuts in the dessert. We seem to be born with the inclination to be drawn to lesser things to satisfy our thirst. The prophet Jeremiah addressed these matters of the heart…
“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Jeremiah 2:13
“Those who turn away from you LORD will be written in the dust because they have forsaken you, the spring of living water.” Jeremiah 17:13b
Why do we keep drinking in the wrong places? I believe the answer is not too far away but alludes many. Those of us who have by faith embraced Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour have received eternal life as a free gift – wow! But as Bible teacher Beth Moore puts it, “We freely receive salvation, but we have to seek satisfaction.” The gift of salvation in Christ does not mean that all our needs are automatically satisfied in Him. Yes, the salvation is totally free, but the working out of that salvation and finding true satisfaction in Christ will cost us absolutely everything!
The truth is, we want the satisfaction part for free too, but it does not work that way. Jesus Christ, the Living Water of God wants to come and fill every single crevice of our parched lives. He invites us to dive down deep into Him where we can be completely satisfied and have our thirst totally extinguished. But all of this does not just happen. There are daily choices to make here. There will be some work to do. In order to BE Quenched with Living Water, you and I are going to have to make some tough decisions. Choosing the high road to travel to the living well, the fountain of Jesus, takes a truckload of courage and some determined intentionality! Let’s lock arms and take the journey together – it will be so worth it!
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters… “ Isaiah 55:1
Are you not thirsty? said the Lion.
I am dying of thirst, said Jill.
Then drink, said the Lion.
I could but would you mind going away while I do? said Jill.
The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.
The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
Will you promise not to do anything to me, if I do come? said Jill.
I make no promise, said the Lion.
Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
Do you eat girls? she said.
I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms, said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
I dare not come and drink, said Jill
Then you will die of thirst, said the Lion.
Oh dear, said Jill, coming another step nearer. I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.
There is no other stream, said the Lion.
C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair
Songs to encourage you:
Come to The Well by Casting Crowns
Hurt and the Healer by MercyMe
A book to build you up:
Come Thirsty by Max Lucado