Are you thirsty?

You appreciate water most when you thirst for it.

Ghana is hot all the time. There is no winter in this beautiful country just summer, all year round. Yes, this may seem like heaven for those that love relaxing on the beach, but it is hell when you’re stuck in traffic for hours on end.

Luckily we have what’s called “pure water” in Ghana which is sold on the side of the road. It costs around fifty peswas (roughly ten cents) and is essentially a small packet of ice-cold water which you can buy from street vendors.

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A couple of months ago I was sitting in traffic (as usual) and started questioning why I was thirsty to begin with? I started thinking what could have caused this sudden need to consume water. I assumed that it was because I had neglected to drink water that day.

So what is the definition of thirst?

Thirst is the feeling of needing to drink something. It occurs whenever the body is dehydrated for any reason. Any condition that can result in a loss of body water can lead to thirst or excessive thirst. For this reason, thirst is a characteristic symptoms of certain medical conditions, most notably diabetes.

http://www.medicinenet.com/thirst/symptoms.htm

In other words, if I were to sum up the definition of thirst I would say that thirst occurs when the body is lacking, for any reason.

This analogy reminded me about the story we are all too familiar with. It’s the story about a woman who met Jesus at the well. She is a woman with no name and no defining characteristics about her other than the fact that she is a woman from Samaria.

She was simply a thirsty woman, a woman lacking, a woman fetching water from a well alone, at an arbitrary time of day.

The bible teaches us the importance of a name. Some names in the bible have prophetic significance while others reflect gratitude and faith towards God. A name can ruin a family’s reputation or build an empire. The fact that she is nameless in this story speaks volumes about her.

It is no coincidence that she chose that specific day, that specific time and that specific well to collect water from. Jesus did not meet with her by coincidence, he made a Heavenly appointment with her, without her knowledge.

I assume that it must have been a hot day. Jesus was traveling with his disciples and chose to stop at Jacob’s well outside the town of Sychar.

Perhaps he needed a reason to stop at that well? Perhaps he was expecting her?

So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

John 4:5-9

I am sure Jesus could have drawn his own water from the well if he pleased, but he chose to ask a Samaritan woman, a woman Jews were not permitted to speak to, to give him water. The woman knew he wasn’t permitted to speak to her and at first she hesitated.

10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

John 4:10-15

The woman at the well was thirsty, she was lacking and dehydrated spiritually. She craved water not to satisfy her earthly thirst, but spiritual water only Jesus could give.

She is nameless in the story because she was unclean in the eyes of the world and her sin became her identity. Her name is not of importance, but the reason for her collecting water from the well is of grave importance.

God wants you to stop focusing your current situation and circumstances. He never intended for His children to lose their identity because of their sin. He wants His children to focus on the reason for their spiritual thirst/lacking and enter into His presence to quench it.

So, what is it that you thirst for?

Do you thirst for a closer relationship with the creator of heaven and earth? Or do you thirst for earthly things? It is common for us to try to satisfy our thirst through the things of this world. Perhaps through the sip of alcohol, the purchase online or the unhealthy relationship. Some of us will search a lifetime to find that one thing that will quench our thirst.

It is our duty as Christians to point all the lost and the thirsty to the well, not to be condemned but to allow God to supply all their spiritual needs.

Drinking is an action, you cannot simply receive without doing something. As Spurgeon once said “[w]hat does a thirsty man do to get rid of his thirst? He drinks. Perhaps there is no better representation of faith in all the Word of God than that. To drink is to receive to take in the refreshing draught and that is all. A man’s face may be unwashed, but yet he can drink; he may be a very unworthy character, but yet a drought of water will remove his thirst. Drinking is such a remarkably easy thing, it is even more simple than eating.”

It doesn’t matter where you have been or what you have done. All he requires, is that you come to the well and drink from living water. Spend time in His word, pray and join a community of believers and you will soon feel refreshed.

Come to the well, for it is deep and never-ending.

Green fields

David comes from a lineage of great men. He was the 10th generation in the line of Judah, one of his ancestors fled from Egypt with Moses and his great-grandfather was Boaz, a well-respected judge in Israel. So let’s just say poor David had a lot to live up to.

Despite his prestigious heritage his family did not think much of him. He wasn’t given the most important job in the family. He was simply cast aside to tend to the sheep.

David was in the fields doing what his father told him to do. He was tending to the sheep obediently when Samuel asked Jesse to summon his youngest son.

In I Samuel 16:11-13 the story unfolds as follows:

And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.

Samuel anointed David in private. The Spirit of the Lord came upon David and he simply returned to the fields to continue waiting and preparing for the Lord’s next move.

David was physically unchanged. His circumstances were also unchanged. But spiritually he was changed forever.

During my short 27 years on earth I have come to realize that God likes to do things in private. He likes to work in me in private. God likes to lead me into my green field and simply instructs me to obey His word, His instruction.

He doesn’t leave me there. He sits with me and teaches me what I need to learn.

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God is like the potter who places your new mould into the oven. No one else is in the room. No one else is prepared to stand near the heat waiting for your mould to be set. Just your potter waits anxiously for you to set.

Although I would like to rush through my time in the field, I have come to realize that this is where the learning happens. This is His classroom and I need to be still in order to understand the lesson.

I will be honest and say that I find the idea of waiting around in a field frustrating. Actually the whole concept of waiting is frustrating, especially when I feel like others around me are moving forward in their lives.

But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

James 1:4 NKJV

But then I am reminded that David was a very young boy, some say he was 10 years old when he was anointed as king. He wasn’t ready to be king and he definitely wasn’t ready to lead a nation but this time in the field alone with God prepared him for the role.

Being in the field will develop you for the next season. It will teach you to trust Him when there is nothing left. Although David was anointed as king he would have to wait 15 years and continue working as a Shepard boy before he was ready for the job ahead.

I encourage you to read the remainder of David’s story to get a better understanding of what he endured along the road to becoming king.

David had a few lessons to learn before God would lead him into the next season.

Firstly, David was taught faithfulness in his work with the sheep. Leading sheep was preparation for leading God’s people. I admire him for being faithful to a daily routine. I am sure leading sheep wasn’t what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Perhaps you’re like me and feel like you’re simply going through your daily routine. Don’t underestimate the value of faithfulness and sticking to the program. What you are doing now is going to serve to open a door, create an opportunity or take you to something bigger.

Secondly, David had to learn to trust God. In I Samuel 17 David shares his account of the attack from a lion and a bear. He killed both by himself, and he gave God the credit for helping him do so. David knew how to face threats and how to use the weapons God gave him because he was prepared. He trusted in God.

Finally, David learnt that the fields were preparation. God is all about preparation. The prophets prepared the way for the coming of Jesus. Even John the Baptist was sent to “prepare the way” for people to recognize the Messiah. Jesus Himself was sent into the desert of testing for a time of preparation before beginning His earthly ministry. He is all about preparation because He sees where we are headed. He goes before us.

I know that everyone’s “green field” is different. Some fields may be dry and barren and some may take longer than expected but remember this, God is the experienced Shepard and he knows exactly how much preparation time you need.

Learn to love your preparation time in the field. Learn to trust the process and most importantly learn to trust Him.

The Voyage

voyage ˈvɔɪɪdʒ/

noun: voyage; plural noun: voyages

  1. a long journey involving travel by sea or in space.

Nothing can prepare you for the voyage.

If you are anything like me then you will always give yourself enough time to plan and pack for a long journey. Enough time to gather all your things and ensure that you haven’t forgotten anything.

However, I have come to realize that God can and will pluck you out of a season unexpectantly and move you into the next season without warning or preparation. Without time to plan and pack.

The scripture in Matthew 8:21-22 is a constant reminder of this scenario. This scripture talks about a particular disciple who was called by Jesus to follow Him, but instead of leaping at the opportunity he asked if he could  first bury his father.

I suppose that this response from Jesus may be shocking to some but I do not think it is meant to be taken literally.

Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”

Matthew 8:21-22 ESV

Jesus did not want this disciple to stay and get distracted/caught up in the things of this world. This would merely delay God’s calling on his life. Instead Jesus commands that he simply follow Him. Period.

I can relate to this story in so many ways.

More than a year ago now, God started stirring something in my heart. I started feeling restless and anxious waiting for the next season to come.

Chris and I started thinking about him pursuing a medicine degree again (this was after he had given up on this dream more than 9 years ago).

We felt a prompting from the Lord to start praying for this to happen. For God to open a door somewhere.

Within a month we had made the decision to pack up our lives and leave behind everything and everyone we loved and move to……wait for it…….. Accra, Ghana!

I know you’re thinking how on earth did that happen, but that is a story for another day.

When we felt as if all was lost, God made a way for us in Accra, Ghana. Everything came together perfectly. We sold everything we owned and packed two suitcases each and travelled here with our fur-kids.

Chris wasn’t accepted into the med-school yet but we trusted God’s “travel plans” and embarked on this voyage anyway.

I am a firm believer in the scripture which says that the Lord works all things together for the good of those who love him. I trusted God with everything I had. I believed that this was His ultimate plan for us and climbed into the boat with Him.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

The Holy Spirit was the wind in our sails and Jesus was the Captain of our boat. Everything else was insignificant.

But….He never said the voyage would be smooth sailing.

He never said there wouldn’t be stormy days.

He never said I wouldn’t feel sea sick sometimes and beg Him to take me out the boat.

He never said the season we were sailing into would be a perfect season, a land of milk and honey if you will.

But he did promise that He would be with us through it all.

So here I sit, writing my blog post in a not so perfect season. Feeling a little sea sick from the journey and begging to get out.

But I know His ways are higher than my ways. I know that He is teaching me to hold onto Him when my sea legs buckle underneath me.

He is the skilled sailor who knows where we are headed. He is in control of the waves and the wind that guides me.

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear it’s sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

John 3:8

It is not our job to determine which way we want the wind to blow, but to adjust our sails to the direction in which the wind of the Holy Spirit is already blowing.

So Lionesses what I’m saying is this.

  • You will never be ready for the voyage.
  • You will never have perfect sailing weather every day.
  • But if you can cling to His promises you will never have to worry about your destination or question the reason for the journey.

The voyage awaits you lioness.

Seané

xxx

Dear Lioness

Always remember:

You are stronger than you think, braver than you will ever believe;

You bear God’s image, you are the Eve of your generation; (Genesis 1:27)

You called out to the Lord Your God in the desert and he answered you, you are the Hagar of your generation; (Genesis 16:13)

You will receive God’s promise, your are the Sarah of your generation; (Genesis 21:1)

You are courageous and brave, you are the Jochebed of your generation; (Exodus 2)

You are a thankful woman who knows how to worship, you are the Miriam of  your generation; (Exodus 15:20,21)

You are resourceful and your faith will be rewarded, you are the Rehab of your generation; (Joshua 2)

You are strong and a natural leader, you are the Deborah of your generation; (Judges 4:4)

You are loyal, you are the Ruth of your generation; (Ruth 1:16)

You might be disappointed but your life will be blessed, you are the Naomi of your generation; (Ruth 4:14)

You declare your miracle in the temple, you are the Hannah of your generation; (1 Samuel 1:27)

You are the peacemaker,  you are the Abigail of your generation; (1 Samuel 25:32)

You were born for a time such as this, you are the Esther of your generation; (Esther 4:12)

You may have sinned but God has redeemed,  you are the Gomer of your generation; (Hosea 3:1)

Your faith will heal you, you are the woman who touched Jesus; (Mark 5:34)

You are honourable and God will bless you,  you are the Elizabeth of your generation; (Luke  1:38)

You witness about Jesus,  you are the Anna of your generation; (Luke 2:37)

You are servant-hearted and hardworking, you are the Phoebe of your generation; (Romans 16:1)

You are a church builder, you are the Priscilla of your generation; (Romans 16:3)

Do not doubt your strength, do not doubt your ability.

You were hand-crafted by your Father, woven together in your mother’s womb.

You possess the heart of a lioness, fierce and brave.

Remember, you are stronger than you think, braver than you will ever believe.