This week I visited a man in the hospital who had not had anything to drink since before his surgery 2 days earlier. Well, that’s not entirely true. He did sneak a long drink of water when his son walked out of the room for a minute but was quickly reprimanded and all drinks were removed from reaching distance. Due to the nature of the surgery, he was not allowed to have anything to drink because of the complications it may cause. Even the ice chips that he was given to moisten his mouth had to be spit out before he could swallow any melted water. And it would be a couple more days until he would be allowed to drink anything. As I visited with him, he shared repeatedly how thirsty he was. He could not stay focused on any other conversation because the dryness he was experiencing was so intense. He talked about how rough his mouth and throat were and how overwhelming his NEED for water was. And I felt so helpless because I could not give him anything to satisfy that thirst.
As I listened to him express his desperation, I could not help but think about the words of Psalm 63 . . .
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
I cannot imagine what the thirst this man was experiencing actually felt like. And I cannot imagine the thirst that the Haiti earthquake victims who were rescued after 8 days experienced. The first drink of water for these people was probably the most amazing thing they’ve ever experienced.
Yet all the water in the world cannot satisfy a thirsty soul.