Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Genesis 21:8-21

I am one of those people who have to make a conscious effort to drink water because I just don't drink a lot and then find myself very thirsty later.  In fact at this very minute, I am savoring a wonderfully hot cup of coffee that was just percolated (I'm not at home, but the percolator did a great job!).  I probably should be refreshing with water because there are sooooo many health benefits to drinking more water. Nonetheless, I will go for long stretches without drinking anything and then wonder why I am getting a headache later in the day.  When I finally hydrate myself, I begin to think clearly and my headache is subdued a bit.  So, I try to remember to fill a bottle of water and bring it to work with me so I will drink water throughout the day.  It is amazing what a wonderful difference it makes for me when I do purposefully drink water.  The story I am looking at is about Ishmael and Hagar in distress and desperately needing water.  Please read Genesis 21:8-21.

Hagar and Ishmael were sent away because Sarah saw them making fun of Isaac.  This seems like such a harsh response and Abraham was heart-broken over it; however, Abraham was given assurance by God that He was allowing this and Ishmael would become a great nation as well.  As we read these verses, we see that this didn't make life easy for Hagar and Ishmael because they were out in the wilderness, but God met them at their greatest need and opened Hagar's eyes so she could see a well.  In fact, Ishmael ended up growing up in the wilderness and we see that God was with him.  I think of how great their thirst must have been because it refers to the fact that Ishmael was crying.  Keep in mind that by this point Ishmael was older; he was not a young boy.  He must have been around 15 years old because we are told that Isaac was done nursing.  So, for a 15 year old boy to be thirsty enough to be brought to tears is pretty horrible.  Yet, God provided the water so that His promise to Abraham would be fulfilled.

We can all experience a spiritual thirst that is painful.  Perhaps it is a thirst we brought on ourselves because we are not spending time with God and in the Bible.  When that is the case, we can seek out God and find refreshment in His presence as we pray and worship and spend time in His Word.  But sometimes, God allows circumstances to arise that throws us out into the wilderness.  Because we are in a new and unfamiliar place that is so isolated, we may find that our connection to God is lost.  It isn't until we are thirsty that we realize that we desperately need to refresh ourselves with the Living Water that Christ promised to all His followers (John 7:38).  When we are out in the wilderness we need to cry out to God to open our eyes and reveal the well of Living Water that we are craving.  It is there; we just need Him to show it to us.  So, even in the wilderness of life, God is with us and growing us and quenching our thirst.  Perhaps He gives us our wilderness times so that we learn to realize our need for Living Water in a way that we never imagined we needed it.

Are you in the wilderness and thirsty right now?  Have you cried out to God to refresh you at His well?

As the deer pants for streams of water, 
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. 
When can I go and meet with God?
Psalm 42:1-2 (NIV)

This post is linked with On Your Heart Tuesdays and Soli Deo Gloria.


  1. oh my. this hits home. because like your water, i go too long some days without serious prayer. or maybe scripture. and then wonder later in the day why i'm miserable or anxious....

    1. Yes! When I start my day off with prayer and scripture it sustains me throughout the day. When I am struggling, I can usually trace it back to not having my morning time with God.

  2. Good analogy. If we try to go without God's nourishment, we will find ourselves in the wilderness. (Visiting from OYHT.)


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