Gospel: Dying of Thirst

At the crack of dawn, three young men headed their jeep deep into the heart of the Sahara desert. Their excitement was fueled by the prospect of fulfilling a lone standing dream of tracking and bagging a gazelle. When they did not return forty-eight hours later, a rescue helicopter lifted off to begin the search for the missing hunters. By noon, all hope that they would be found alive in the stifling heat and parched wasteland was dwindling. Late in the afternoon, there was great excitement as a lone vehicle was sighted. Later, four miles from the jeep, the three hunters were discovered. There was only one survivor. Thirst had driven his weary body to the point of madness. His distorted mind was mocked with a cruel mirage of an oasis as he frantically dug with his bare hands in the sand. After gently placing him aboard the helicopter, the struggle to save his life began. IVs to replace fluids to his dehydrated body were administered. Then he was whisked away for further treatment.

The agony of the thirst of this man defies description. Yet, this is not the worst type of thirst. Physical thirst ends with this life. Spiritual thirst can go on into eternity, unquenched. The Psalmist was expressing the fundamental need of the human race when he said, “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:2).

Man has tried to satisfy this in the realm of natural beauty. He goes to the Rockies and the Alps that glisten with the accumulation of diamond snowflakes. He revels in the scented blossoms of spring. While accepting his daily struggle of toil, he looks forward to his period of vacation and relaxation, yet deep in his heart he senses an awful void.

Man gives himself to untiring activity. He experiences political achievement. He drives himself and almost drowns himself in the business and commercial activities of the world. He makes great strides in medicine to combat disease and prolong physical life. Yet in all this tremendous activity and achievement, man is not satisfied.

In our youth we form friendships; from these we go on in life to form certain associations that we hope will support us as life goes on. The friend, sweetheart, wife, child, and grandchildren are all expressions of desires that beat in every heart. Finally, we observe those who have been dear to us pass in dim procession to the grave and we find that, after all, even in the world of affections, we cannot be fully satisfied; in fact, if God is not the foundation of man’s purpose and desires, these final experiences can be only moments of emotional torture. After all, you and I have not been born just for this moment, but for the infinite and eternal moments of God.

Behind every thought, activity and enjoyment in this world, there is something you cannot get away from, something you cannot annihilate: it is yourself, your very being, your soul, your spirit, your strange mysterious life of loneliness, your individuality. It is that something that says, “I am still unsatisfied.” There is something missing.

The Lord Jesus at Golgotha experienced the agony of thirst in a way that none other has ever done. His physical thirst became symbolic of our spiritual thirst and His death the only means of alleviating it. Jesus said to the woman at Sychar’s well, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst…” (John 4:14). The Lord Jesus Christ alone can satisfy the thirst, the cravings of the human heart, so that you can exclaim, “In God, my soul is satisfied.”