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home : features : features May 26, 2016

6/28/2013 6:00:00 AM
Thirst of the spirit can be quenched only at the source

Diane Wilson
Faith columnist

Jesus answered [the woman at the well] and said unto her, "If thou knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to thee, Give me to drink; thou would have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water...whosoever drink of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:10, 14)

The desert is a thirsty place, where occasional monsoons barely quench its ever-silent cry for moisture. Most drought-resistant vegetation grows within the protection of spiny, needle-sharp armor that allows the plant to survive against unslaked desert creatures.

As water is to physical life, so God is to the life of the human soul. When I look at the wonder of His natural world, the delicate balance and provision, I stand in awe of God's love for humankind. How could One so great love one so small such as I, perfectly and without conditions? Truly only the Creator can fulfill the deepest longings of His creation.

Now and then one might discover a spring in the midst of parched barren lowlands. Trees actually grow there, strong and healthy, where water collects in cool ponds surrounded by lush grasses. Mountain springs sometimes surprise a hiker in the high desert, and one can hear the bubbling of the coveted liquid as it rises to the rocky surface to support a healthy abundance of greenery and wildlife. The Bible tells us that the water Jesus gives becomes a perpetual spring within us, watering us forever with eternal life. Now we need thirst no more.

For what do I thirst today? Can the things of this world quench that thirst? Can our fellow creatures satisfy our every need, or even our every desire? God is not only able, but willing to do just that. Shall I turn to the One who gives the living water of eternal life?

Dearest Heavenly Father, your Spirit fills my being for the asking. You provide all that I need, if I but seek your face and trust your heart. Each day is a new gift, along with all that it holds. I pray for the willingness to embrace you as the living water that quenches my thirst, you who can fill my spirit with eternal nourishment. Amen.

Adapted from "Out of the Desert, Softly" by Dianne Finnegan Wilson. You may email Ms. Wilson by visiting

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