We live in a land of exile.
We were created for perfect, uninterrupted relationship with God and with others. We were created to fulfill a perfect purpose, to glorify God and to be caretakers, good stewards, of the resources of the earth.
But sin set us on the run, separating us from God.
This broken planet is not our home. It cannot satisfy.
If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. – C.S. Lewis
We were created for more.
Life on this broken planet is often dry and weary. Difficulty and pain leave our souls thirsty and longing. Nothing in this world can satisfy this thirst, no matter how hard we try.
So what does a thirsty soul do?
The thirsty soul seeks God.
O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water. (v. 1)
Only God can satisfy the thirsty soul. We were created for relationship with Him. We long for Him like a thirsty man longs for water. Only when we recognize that we are separated from God by our sins, when we accept that the only way to be restored to relationship with God is through Jesus and the payment He made for our sins on the cross, and when we cry out to God for salvation, only then will our souls be satisfied.
While we remain in this dry and weary land, we need to earnestly seek God each day to renew our satisfaction in Him, remembering that nothing in this world can quench our thirst.
The thirsty soul worships with others.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory. (v. 2)
God’s power and glory are on display when we worship Him together. Worshipping with others also reminds us that we are not alone in our struggles.
The thirsty soul treasures God’s love above everything.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you. (v. 3)
God’s unfailing love is our great treasure. His love is better than life itself. It is because of His love that God did not leave us in our sins. It is because of His love that God provided us a way back to relationship with Him through the death of His one and only Son Jesus on the cross.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5
Glory to God for His great love!
The thirsty soul praises God’s name.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands. (v. 4)
The thirsty soul is determined to praise God, lifting up hands in His name.
Lifted hands can signal surrender – I give up my plans and choose God’s purposes. Lifted hands can signal identification – I want to be counted as one who bears God’s name. Lifted hands can signal a desire to be seen – I want to be recognized by God as one of His own. Lifted hands can signal a need for help – I want God to lift me up, like a father lifts a child in need.
The thirsty soul finds satisfaction in God.
My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you. (v. 5)
Even more than a gourmet meal satisfies our physical hunger, God satisfies our soul’s hunger for significance and purpose.
The thirsty soul remembers God.
On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night. (v. 6)
According to the ESV Key Word Study Bible, the word remember here “indicates a process of mentioning or recalling either silently, verbally, or by means of a memorial sign or symbol.”
At night, when our bodies stop to rest, our thoughts are more free to wander. Worry often tries to fill our minds at night. The soul thirsty for God actively directs night time thoughts to God.
At night, think about who God is and what He has done, or read His Word out loud. Sometimes it helps to have a visual reminder to help redirect anxious thoughts. This could be a notecard with a verse written on it or a Bible within easy reach. Night time is a good time to remember and meditate on God’s truth.
The thirsty soul finds help in God.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings. (v. 7)
Recognizing God is our help is a theme of the psalms. Just in the first 63 psalms, God is either called our help or mention is made of crying out to God for help over 30 times.
For the thirsty soul, help is found in God.
The thirsty soul clings to God.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me. (v. 8)
In a dry and weary land, we need something to cling to, something to orient ourselves to in the changing landscape around us. The thirsty soul clings to God for provision, stability, and direction. He will hold us up.
Is your soul thirsty?
Worship with others.
Treasure God’s love.
Praise God’s name.
Find satisfaction in God.
Remember God at all times.
Find help in God.
Cling to Him.
God alone can satisfy.
Father, my desires tell me that I was created for another world. Your Word tells me that my soul is thirsty for You. I want to seek You with all my heart, to find my satisfaction in You. Help me to remember You when anxious thoughts crowd my mind. Your love is better than life. I am clinging to You today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.