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Chris Carpenter
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The Almighty Thirst Quencher

By Chris Carpenter Program Director - Have you ever been thirsty? I mean really thirsty. The sort of thirst that lends itself to parched, cracked lips, a tongue that feels like sand paper, and the overwhelming desire to swallow anything that is wet regardless of its toxicity.

For one fleeting afternoon last summer I thought I was going to perish if I did not have something to drink. It was the sort of experience that made me truly appreciate the importance of water in our lives – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

It all started when I had a free afternoon in Denver, Colorado. I was in town to interview several authors who were at a convention promoting their latest books. Without anything scheduled until that evening, I thought it would be a great opportunity to go sight-seeing. After all, Denver is the Mile High City, the gateway to the Rockies, and the site of the great Colorado gold rush. So, where was my first stop? Coors Field of course, the stadium of Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies.

As many stadiums do, Coors Field provides tours to devout baseball fans such as myself as a means to generate even more revenue. Typically, a tour guide will lead you through parts of the stadium that you never see as a fan – places like the press box, the player’s locker rooms, even a walk on the field. This tour wasn’t any different as our tour guide regaled us with witty anecdote after witty anecdote about the exploits of the hometown team. You would swear this team never lost a game based on her monologue.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, my tale of being insatiably thirsty and how it relates to each one of you.

It was about midway through the tour when my mouth became dry. At first it wasn’t a problem. I swallowed a couple of times and it seemed to go away. But the further we walked the more chapped my lips became. Finally, as we were standing in the communal player’s shower listening to how much shower water the team goes through after a game, I could stand it no more.

Raising my hand, I blurted out, “Excuse me, is there somewhere I can get a drink?”

My fellow tour attendees chuckled softly but I had no idea why.

“Sir, the nearest bar is over on Blake Street,” my tour guide said. “It’s called …”

I now realized why my tour mates were laughing at me. “No, no, I don’t mean alcohol. I was wondering if there was a water fountain or soda machine in the area?”

My tour guide paused for a moment and then looked at her watch. She sighed and said, “Sorry sir, we are behind schedule as it is. You will have to wait until the conclusion of the tour.”

All I could do was stare at her incredulously. She couldn’t be serious. Sadly, she was.

As the tour concluded about 15 minutes later on the field, all I could concentrate on was the garden hose coiled up beside the dugout. I considered just grabbing it and firing it up for some cool liquid refreshment but my attention was quickly diverted by a glass cooler filled with Gatorade, standing proudly in the dugout.

I don’t know what came over me but I soon found myself asking, no, telling my tour guide, “I will give you five dollars for one of those Gatorades.”

She looked at me smugly and said, “Sir, those are for the players, not the fans.”

“But the team is in St. Louis and won’t be back for a week,” I pleaded.

“I am not authorized to do that sir. Do I need to call security?”

I didn’t answer. I turned in my parched defeat and headed for the nearest exit. Out on the street, I spotted a souvenir shop through the shimmering heat and determined that it must have liquid refreshments. Why? Because they probably sold souvenir cups and if they sold souvenir cups they must have a water fountain to test them. Undoubtedly, I was becoming delirious due to my lack of liquid intake.

No success. With the exception of an opened can of Sprite in the store clerk’s hand there were no hydration opportunities. I considered making a monetary offer for his liquid remains but thought better of it.

So, I stumbled back out into the sun cracked street. Bobbing and weaving past several art galleries, banks, and business offices, I finally spied what I believed to be my deliverance – Starbucks!

I trembled with anticipation as I considered the possibilities: a triple mocha chino with a shot of espresso, a venti vanilla frappachino, water. My eyes were glassy, my judgment impaired, as I rushed past a young couple and into the House of Starbucks. There was but one problem. Gathered in front of me was a line of at least 20 people waiting for their caffeinated designer drinks. I was sunk but how could that be? There was no water to sink in.

I stood in line helplessly, feeling dizzier by the minute. But somewhere in the distance I thought I heard someone say, “Enough of this, I’m going to Jamba Juice!”

I blindly followed the voice. I am so glad I did. Within minutes I was enjoying the largest Berry Lime Sublime smoothie I could wrap my hands around. It was tasty, it was colorful, but most importantly it was unbelievably refreshing. My unquenchable thirst was now just a memory. It was a thing of the past. I felt like a new person.

How many of you are thirsty? Are you seeking fulfillment in things that do not satisfy you? Does it seem like everything you grab onto in your quest ends up making you feel more miserable?

I realize that the aforementioned story I just shared may seem silly but it contains several parallels that might be similar to your life. Perhaps all the things you are filling your life with leave you feeling parched. Nothing satisfies you. Everything you try to fill this void doesn’t seem to work. You always find yourself in the same spot, over and over and over again. Doors are continually being closed in your face.

But there is a way to get beyond this. There is a way to fulfill your every need, a sure-fire means to become a new person.

In speaking with the woman at the well, Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:13, 14).

As our bodies hunger and thirst, so do our souls. But our souls need spiritual food and water. We would not think of depriving our bodies of food and drink when we hunger or thirst. Why then should we deprive our souls? The living water, Jesus Christ, and the living Word, the Bible, can completely satisfy our hunger and thirst.

Jesus did not come to earth to take away challenges in our lives, but to change us on the inside and to empower us to deal with problems from God’s perspective.

If you are truly tired of never satisfying your thirst, all you need to do is cry out to God. Anyone who seeks the Father will find him. Only He can quench your thirst.

Portions contained within this article from the Transformer Study Bible.

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