How thirsty are you...?
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? Psalm 42:1-2
An older couple was having dinner in a restaurant. The wife saw another couple about their age sitting in a nearby booth. She noted the husband sitting close to his wife, his arm around her. He whispered things in her ear as she smiled and blushed. He gently rubbed her shoulder, touching her hair. The woman turned to her husband and said, "Look at that couple over there. Look how close that man is to his wife, how he's talking to her. Look at how sweet he is. Why don't you ever do that?" Her husband looked up from his Caesar salad and glanced over at the next booth. Then he turned to his wife and said, "Honey, I don't even know that woman." Some of us men are just clueless, honestly.
On July 30, 1945, the battle cruiser USS Indianapolis was returning from a mission delivering enriched uranium to allied forces in the Pacific. It did not make it home. A Japanese torpedo hit the cruiser on its way back. It sank in minutes. In only 12 minutes, 300 of the 1,200 men died. Nine hundred went into the water, enduring four days and five nights without food, without water, and under the blazing sun of the Pacific. Of the 900 men that went into the water, only 316 survived the lack of water and the sharks. One of those who survived was the chief medical officer, who recorded his own experience. He wrote:
There was nothing I could do, nothing I could do but give advice, bury the dead at sea, save the life jackets, and try to keep the men from drinking the water. When the hot sun came out, and we were in this crystal clear ocean, we were so thirsty. You couldn't believe it wasn't good enough to drink. I had a hard time convincing the men they shouldn't drink. The real young ones…you take away their hope, you take away their water and food, they would drink the salt water and they would go fast. I can remember striking the ones who were drinking the salt water to try to stop them. They would get dehydrated, then become maniacal. There were mass hallucinations. I was amazed how everyone would see the same thing. One man would see something, and then everyone else would see it. Even I fought the hallucinations off and on. Something always brought me back.
Truth is, you and I are incredibly thirsty -- right now. In our souls, as the Sons of Korah wrote in Psalm 42, we pant for His presence. Nothing satisfies a human soul like the presence of God. Can you hear your own soul echoing, "when can I come and appear before God?" Pay attention to your soul: make your way to the secret place where you can drink of the refreshing and restoring presence of God. Jesus promised living water from within that never goes away. Pursue His presence and drink.