“As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.” Psalm 42:1
A few college students seemed surprised one day when paralyzed dog Miss Mercy scooted her wheelchair as quickly as possible to them to receive not what they expected she wanted. She was hot – panting hot – and needed water. So I had handed them a water bowl to hold out her water. She hadn’t been drinking enough for a day or two and really needed the water. Any typical dog would have virtually lunged for the water to satisfy his her or her thirst. But not Miss Mercy. She went right by the water and showed absolutely no interest in it. Why? She was totally consumed with what she was in exceeding pursuit of.
Love, attention, petting, fellowship with her new friends. Her relationship with them – albeit newly formed – was what she wanted most. She couldn’t see anything beyond her thirst to love them and be loved by them. Her thirst for communing with them, so to speak, made all other thirst nothing in comparison. She was bound and determined to enjoy every moment of time with them as they loved on her. And so she did for every instant she was given the opportunity. And herein lies the lesson for us.
How often do we go running to the Lord with a hunger and thirst for the physical provision He has for us, to get our prayers answered, to get stuff we want, to tell Him what we need and hold out our hands to get it from Him, making all this our highest priority when it comes to the Lord? Not that there is anything in the least bit wrong with going to the Lord with our prayers and desires. But is it not true our very highest priority should be fellowship with the Lord Himself? Time with Him? Relationship with Him? Receiving His love and loving Him in return? Seeking Him as a higher priority than seeking stuff from Him? Spending time with Him not simply to get stuff, but to love and praise and worship Him?
Miss Mercy knew she would get the water she needed. Just not right then. Because her greatest desire wasn’t the water to quench her physical thirst, but it was the love to quench the thirst of her little doggy heart. And, oh, how she enjoyed the time with the college students!
Not long afterward, after I had returned the wheelchair dogs to the apartment and taken them out of their wheelchairs, I heard the Lord’s Spirit speak to my heart:
There was my reminder. To seek the Lord. To spend time with Him. Not to get anything from Him. Just to spend some time with Him. Seeking Him. Listening to Him. Learning from Him. Enjoying Him. Resting in Him.
A reminder for us all, is it not?