Someone I know decided last year to start drinking the recommended daily amount of water (somewhere around eight 8-oz. glasses per day) for health benefits. Shortly after starting this, she began to realize how thirsty she was, all the time. As her body grew accustomed to being more hydrated, any level of dehydration became much more noticeable and uncomfortable. Reflecting on her past, she couldn’t believe how rarely she felt thirst, in spite of being perpetually dehydrated. Paradoxically, the more water she drank throughout the day, the more thirsty she felt throughout the day. Being someone who drinks a lot of water, I knew exactly what she was talking about — I am constantly thirsty!
Well, as it is with water, so it is with the Holy Spirit. The more filled we are, the more thirsty we feel. The more we “drink” throughout the day, the harder it is to quench our thirst. As the Spirit satisfies, we become more frequently and more deeply dissatisfied. It’s not that our need ever really changes, but that our awareness of it does.
So what does all of this mean?
If we aren’t aware of our deep thirst for God, it’s probably because we’re chronically dehydrated, and we’re just used to it. We’ve forgotten what it’s like to be filled with the Spirit, so we don’t even recognize when he’s not around. We don’t feel what we’re missing, even though it deeply affects us.
I can’t shake the feeling that God has destined us for so much more, something so much greater than what we typically think is possible or likely. We’re like dried up wells, though meant to be roaring rivers. And until we make a habit of being continually, radically reliant on the Holy Spirit, we will continue not to care or notice any difference.
Along with awakening will come deep disturbance, increasing discomfort, and insatiable thirst. This must happen. And it must happen first within you and me.
Join me this week in praying, “Holy Spirit, fill me up, wake me up, and show me what I’ve been missing.”