Mick’s Memo – Thirst Quenching

Meredith Willson, the author and composer of the hit musical “The Music Man”, describes “trouble” for River City in many different ways mainly because of a “pool hall”…

And all week long your River City youth’ll be fretterin’ away,

I say your young men’ll be fritterin’!

Never mind pumpin’ any water

‘Til your parents are caught with the cistern empty

On a Saturday night and that’s trouble![i]

In rural America, circa 1910, an empty cistern was a crisis.  We hardly know what one is.  Scripture uses the term in a passage I recently studied in Jeremiah’s prophetic writings, warning and rebuking the nation of Judah as they faced captivity…

“My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
 the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,

 broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Jeremiah 2:13 (NIV)

We humans are born thirsty—physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually.  We spend considerable effort seeking to quench these thirsts.  Jeremiah records the dilemma very clearly.  Our creator is intended to be the source that quenches these thirsts.  He knows us intimately. He has shaped our circumstances and knows the “now” and the “then” that we face.  He loves us and has given His Son, Jesus, to restore our opportunity to be with Him.  His is the constant, refreshing source of the “hydration” we need and (sometimes unwittingly) yearn to experience.  Sadly, like the people of Judah’s time we may be satisfied by substitutes and shortcuts.  Cisterns stored water—finite amounts and subject to degraded quality.  If the cistern leaked, it required constant filling and precious water (particularly in the desert climate) would be lost.  We may seek to quench our thirst with prestige, power, pleasures, people, or possessions.  These typically give some relief to our dry souls, but it is temporary and less satisfying in the end.  They require far more than they can give as they are not sources, just temporary storage devices.

Are there cisterns in your life?  Are there substitute sources where you seek the quench your thirsts that will only truly be quenched by walking with the Lord? 

This weekend we will conclude our series on “Meeting God in Unexpected Places”.  We will also have a great time celebrating the Fall “kickoff” with a picnic at Chapman Park right after services.  Please plan on coming and feel free to bring friends!

Looking forward to seeing you!

Mick


[i] Meredith Willson, “Trouble” from “The Music Man”

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