The Daily Office: Day 82- The Gift of Spiritual Thirst
Silence for 2-5 minutes:
If your mind wanders, silently pray a simple prayer again and again, such as, "I surrender to your love" or "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me" until the Holy Spirit gives you a sense of peace and focus
1 O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh [c]yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2 Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. 3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You. 4 So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. 5 My soul is satisfied as with [d]marrow and fatness, And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.
6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches, 7 For You have been my help, And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. 8 My soul clings [e]to You; Your right hand upholds me.
David pens Psalm 63 when he is in exile in the desert. It is thought that this Psalm was written when the king was on the run from his son Absalom. Here in the desert, David becomes physically thirsty, but his thirst for God is even greater. There is only one thing that satisfies thirst and that is water. There is only one thing that satisfies the human heart and that is God.
David’s singular and passionate focus is upon God alone. His inner being longs for God. His body longs to be stilled and touched by God’s presence. For David, the answer is always God and God alone.
What do we do when we become spiritually thirsty? First, let us see how spiritual thirst is one of God’s most precious gifts. For most of us, it was spiritual thirst that initially brought us to faith in Christ. We were like the woman at the well in John 4. She came to a well in the heat of the day to get water for her household, but Jesus recognized that her deepest longing was for the living water only he could provide.
As we grow in our faith, we also grow in our thirst for God. We continually come to him to be satisfied. Those who are not spiritually thirsty can quickly become content with lesser things of this earth, and a dullness settles upon them like a dark cloud. God gives us this deep thirst for Him as an unsought, priceless gift.
Jesus proclaims that “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7) Spiritual thirst causes us to seek the Lord earnestly. It is then that those who are hungry and thirsty for God are truly satisfied. Praise the Lord for the gift of spiritual thirst.
Bernard of Clairvaux writes:
Jesus, Thou Joy of loving hearts, Thou Fount of life, Thou Light of men, From the best bliss that earth imparts, We turn unfilled to Thee again.
We taste Thee, O Thou living Bread, And long to feast upon Thee still; We drink of Thee, the Fountain-head, And thirst our souls from Thee to fill!
Are you thirsty for the living God today or has a spiritual dullness settled upon you? Ask the Lord for the gift of spiritual thirst.
O Lord, I long to thirst for you as intently as did your servant David. Help every desert experience cause me to thirst for you and you alone! Amen.