Learning the unforced rhythms of grace



Jesus said, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." John 7:37-38.

We are a thirsty people.

  • "I don't like church these days. It just doesn't fill me anymore." 
  • "Parenting is frustrating. I don't know what I'm doing!"
  • "My spouse doesn't understand me. I feel lonely in my marriage."
  • "Our financial situation is bad. . . and still there are things I want to buy."
  • "So many decisions to make. How do I know what is the right one?
  • "Life is so busy, so stressful, there is no free time."

So, we try to quench it with other things: try a new church, parenting seminars, marriage books, financial training, calendar organizing . . . all, which are very good things. . .

But what would happen if we took Jesus up on His offer? What would happen if we truly addressed our thirst as a need that only Jesus could meet? What would that actually look like? It might sound something like this:

"Lord Jesus, I am thirsty. I feel embarrassed saying that to You because there are so many good things around me and I feel I 'should' not feel this way. But there are so many things that are lacking in my life and in the world around me. If I am honest, sometimes I feel lonely, misunderstood, rejected, frustrated, stressed, worried and fearful. I have ways of temporarily regaining control and fixing that thirsty feeling . . . but today, I will try something new.
I will come to You. You promise that You will create rivers of living water within me. That sounds good. That sounds like I would be thirsty no longer. That means that outward circumstances would not affect my thirst. Refreshment would come from within. So, today, I confess that I have been looking outward for refreshment instead...and it has left me thirsty. Here are the things and people I have been expecting or demanding to fulfill me:
I choose to ask You for water, living water. I choose to offer grace to those people and things whom cannot satisfy me. And I will wait and see. . . what Your living water does to my thirst. In faith, I will ask You to refresh me, and I will wait to receive . . . and I will not pursue a quick fix anywhere else. I will wait. . . in the quietness . . . through the external chaos . . . I will wait. "

May you have the courage to take Jesus up on His offer!