Thirsty?

Thirst is an issue in these dog days of summer. Being outside for even a nano-second (with mascara melting and sunglasses fogging) is an instant dehydrator. Here on the Outer Banks the relentless heat index has made us feel as though we are living on the surface of the sun. Just getting to the car to go grocery shopping is thirsty work.

Have you ever considered the things people thirst after that aren’t hydration? Some people thirst after fame. Some thirst after power. Some thirst for wealth. Others for equality and inclusion. Some things are worthy of our thirst and others are frivolous. We can either drink the clear and healthy water that sustains us and helps us thrive, or we can try to satisfy ourselves with sugary soda pop. God has created us to know a good thirst from a bad one, and to seek to satisfy that thirst with healthy things rather than waste our resources on things that will never satiate us.

But we still keep reaching for the soda pop.

God has a better offer.

Isaiah 55 (Contemporary English Version)

If you are thirsty,
    come and drink water!
If you don’t have any money,
    come, eat what you want!
Drink wine and milk
    without paying a cent.
Why waste your money
    on what really isn’t food?
Why work hard for something
    that doesn’t satisfy?
Listen carefully to me,
and you will enjoy
    the very best foods.

I think the conflict we face is between taking a quick and easy fix for our problems or accepting the free grace and mercy that the Lord offers.

I know a woman who is struggling in her marriage. Her alcohol consumption exacerbates the situation. She knows that. Night after night she chooses to drink, which causes her to say critical and harsh things to her spouse. She recognizes that she is invited to drink from the Living Water that is Christ, who offers patience, perseverance, and forgiveness, but that would require sobriety. Christ alone is able to quench her thirst, but instead she drinks from the wasteful bottle of avoidance and anger, which will never, ever satisfy.

Pay close attention!
    Come to me and live.
I will promise you
the eternal love and loyalty
    that I promised David.
I made him the leader and ruler
of the nations;
    he was my witness to them.

No matter what you are thirsting after today, God has an unlimited well of goodness that is offered without price. His healing mercies flow from the font of the resurrection. When you drink freely of the water he has to offer, you will be blessed with a life that provides the very best foods of peace, wholeness, and contentment.

Thirsty? Try Jesus. Come to him and live and you will receive the eternal love and loyalty he offers to all. When you drink the Living Water you will never be thirsty again.

The Thirsty Come by Kathy Schumacher

It Will Not Return Empty

Today is a milestone for At Water’s Edge. For over fifteen straight months, five days a week, you and I have shared a passion for reading God’s Word. The 300th devotional was just published, and that is only because YOU have been faithful to read them. Otherwise, there is no point in writing every day.

I believe God’s word goes where it needs to go and says what it needs to say to those who need to hear it. When I sit down every day, I don’t ever worry about what to write. I have faith that God will speak to us on these pages. I am simply the typist. He has never failed to bring forth a message, and when we receive it, he allows it to grow in our hearts.

And that perspective is biblical! Look what showed up in today’s lectionary:

Isaiah 55 (New Revised Standard Version)

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
    and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Here is where we can take comfort in knowing that our daily pursuit of scripture intake will bless and prosper us. Even when a passage is challenging or seems to not be relevant, it will show up later in our lives if we are faithful in allowing it to take root where God has planted it.

And the result? Peace. Joy. Everlasting hope.

12 For you shall go out in joy,
    and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
    shall burst into song,
    and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

God’s word never returns empty. It plants seeds that grow into sturdy trees of discipleship. And then you take that seed and plant it in someone else’s life, and it grows some more. When we are filled with his Word, we can never be cut off from his love.


13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
    instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial,
    for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

So THANK YOU, faithful reader, for going on this crazy journey with me. Thank you for sharing these posts. I cherish you more than you will ever know.

Come

Isn’t it exciting to be invited to come to a party or event? Back when all invitations were delivered by mail, it was a thrill to open that small colored envelope that indicated an invitation to a baby shower, birthday party, graduation ceremony, or some other special event. Receiving an invitation was the height of inclusion. Somebody wanted YOU. Your presence was requested. The party would not be the same without you, so COME.

God is the ultimate invitation-giver. The entire bible might be summed up in the word “come.” Come to me, all you weary people. Come to me and rest. Come and be healed. Come and find peace. Just come.

In the 55th chapter of Isaiah, we receive a beautiful invitation. This one is offered to the thirsty, the poor, the hungry, and the people of every nation:

Isaiah 55 (New International Version)

“Come, all you who are thirsty,
    come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
    listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
    my faithful love promised to David.
See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
    a ruler and commander of the peoples.
Surely you will summon nations you know not,
    and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has endowed you with splendor.”

Even the wicked are invited to come, and we are all invited to seek the Lord. Mercy is found when people seek God.

Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways
    and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

In the mystery of this universal invitation, all are invited to come for pardon. This may confuse us. We may question the offer of pardoning to the evil ones who have brought so much destruction to others. Yet God reserves the right to invite whomever he pleases…and it is not for us to question. His thoughts and ways are far higher than ours.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it
.

So we have two jobs today. One is to accept the invitation to come before the Lord and receive all of his mercy, pardon, and blessing. The other is to extend that invitation to the most vulnerable and hurting among us. Go, and do likewise. Or better still, come.

Come and See the Beauty of Creation by Wende Pritchard