Thought for the Week - 18th July

John 7:37-38

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
We all go through different seasons in our Christian walk. At times we are marching forward on fire for God, and feel the nearness of His presence, but other times we can find ourselves in a dry and barren wilderness. The dry times can be hard going, we can’t seem to enter into prayer like we once did, our readings don’t seem to move us like they ought, and it can feel as though God is afar off as we grieve the comfort of His closeness. We may find ourselves just habitually plodding on coming to church, and as we look around and see people seemingly going from strength to strength, pressing ahead, and winning souls, it can intensify our struggle and leave us feeling worse. Unfortunately, try as we might to strive, whip ourselves up, and sort ourselves out, it often makes no difference.
These changes in season are not always brought on by something we have done. Sometimes it is just the way it goes, or perhaps an opportunity to grow in blind faith or to anchor in more deeply.
The busyness of daily life can leave us weary; jobs, family, church and circumstances, can all impact our spiritual walk, and we are coming into the time of year that brings with it additional distractions. Things slowdown in church a little as people go on holidays, our normal routines are unsettled, and we are perhaps missing more meetings and relying on online streaming to feed us. As the hustle and bustle of summer starts to encroach, and all the distractions creep in, it is easy to find ourselves out on a limb and before we’ve noticed our spiritual lives have taken a bit of a dip.
God knows our struggles and He sees our innermost heart. He is a compassionate and loving Father; He doesn’t tell us we have fallen short or berate us for our failings. We needn’t hide ashamed, but bring our weariness honestly before Him and ask for His refreshing rain.
On the last day of the feast Christ cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink…. out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
We see the life-giving power of water all around us in the natural world, but how much richer, sustaining, and thirst quenching, is the water poured out upon us by, and through, Christ Himself. As He stood and cried out among the people, some of whom wanted Him dead, He was proclaiming that He was God, and that only through Him can we ever be truly satisfied. Not only does He pour out living water upon us, He fills us to overflowing, and by the Holy Spirit, that same river of life pours forth out from us and unto others.
God allows us to go through a time of wilderness, and though often a hard road, it can be a wonderful place of finding Him in a new way. We may come to know His comfort and friendship in a deeper measure, and experience His miraculous working power as He takes over and does things within us, and our circumstances, that we never thought possible.
Come, whatever place you find yourself in today, and drink from the fountain of the One who created heaven and earth, Who put the stars into space, Who knew you before time began, and knows you better than you know yourself. Cry out in need that He would fill you to overflowing, and return to you the joy of your salvation. Open your heart and let Him find you in your wilderness.
Song of Songs 8:5

“Who is this coming up from the wilderness, Leaning upon her beloved?”

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