Spiritual Endurance ~ Quenching the Thirst
Dehydration plagued football players around the country in the 1960’s. In the summer of 1965 a University of Florida assistant coach, determined to find a solution, met with several university physicians. The researchers discovered that fluids, electrolytes, and carbohydrates, which were being lost through sweat during practice, were not being replenished. They created a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage, an aid, that could be used to replace what was lost during intense practices – thus the birth of what we know now as “Gatorade” (www.gatorade.com). Endurance drinks help to sustain us longer, so we can push ourselves further…I remember this song from when I was a child…”Gatorade is thirst aide, for that deep, down body thirst.”
Physically, we know when we are thirsty. The range of our need for hydration varies from the daily need of water, to the deep need of endurance drinks needed to sustain prolonged physical activity, such as Gatorade. Our bodies let us know when we are dry…However, Spiritual thirst is often harder to identify…
Did you grow up loving God, but now feel distant from him?
Do you have a friend who has talked to you about having a relationship with God – but you think he or she is crazy and you really have no idea what he is talking about?
Maybe you have a Bible study that you have been invited to several times, and you secretly really want to go, but you use the excuse that you are too “busy.”
Has someone whom you love come to know God, and His Son, and tried to share His love with you? Does that make you angry or upset? Maybe that anger is actually because you yourself are a little thirsty for the knowledge of Him or knowing that love?
Depending on where you are on your walk with God, you may be thirsty for just knowing Him, or you may be thirsty for knowing more of Him. When God draws you near to Him, you know there is something more to life, but you can’t figure out what that deep yearning is inside your soul. Many people try to quench this initial thirst with self-help books, friends, or even food and drinks. Those temporary fixes never really satisfy this thirst – they are the Gatorade which help you get through the trials and tribulation of life. Physically, even the best endurance drinks wear off, and do not quench this intense thirst, or longing, for knowing God. Similar to our daily need for water, they may help us endure longer, but they are constantly needed in order to replenish our bodies when we are depleted.
Once you realize the depth of God’s love for you, he will “satisfy the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good” Psalm 107:9. Turning to God and accepting your need for Him in your life today, allows for you to be filled with the “living water.” God has said that, “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of god, God lives in them and they in God” 1 John 4:15. The Son of God, a sacrificial gift from God for each one of us, is the “living water” (John 4:10).
“He who believes in Me as the Scripture said, from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38
Quenching the thirst for God is the first step to building Spiritual endurance.
Regardless of where you are in life, it is not too late (or too early) to commit to knowing God and knowing Him more… You may begin by asking the questions you were once scared to ask, or joining the devotional group/Bible study that you didn’t have time for… Reach out to friends who have already committed to knowing God more. It may seem uncomfortable at first, just like the beginning of a good running/training program, but we all have to start somewhere… and for the beginning of the race, I am grateful!