In a dry and weary land.

O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.

So begins Psalms 63. “In a dry and weary land where there is no water”.

Angry dust clouds billow from a truck speeding down a dirt road like steam pouring out of a steam engine as it labors up a hill. Those on bicycle, horseback, or those walking are consumed in the cloud as someone carelessly speeds by – completely oblivious to the discomfort that they have inflicted on a fellow human being.

Construction across the street causes the Bilbo (dust) to rise up to our house like storm clouds gathering in a massive thunderstorm. Rumor has it that this same construction site has run out of water – their well has run dry.
The small village of Lucinda is out of water. Out of water.

These are the images that I bring back from Honduras. It is said that Honduras has two seasons: wet and dry. This is definitely the dry season. Yes, the place that we are going to is in the jungle, but the jungle is a place of extremes and right now, the extreme is dry. The whole area strains under the dryness and awaits the next extreme, the rainy season. In a month or so, torrents of rain will change the landscape and the plancha (dry river bed) will roar with water once again. People will make their wary river crossings in too much water. But right now, it is dry. It is so dry that several areas are out of water.

When was the last time anyone in the United States contemplated being out of water? When we need water, even in a place like Las Vegas Nevada, right in the middle of the desert, we turn on the faucet and there is water. A water shortage means that we cannot water the grass, or plant new sod. It doesn’t mean that we have no water to drink. Local environmental laws cause all construction sites to be constantly attended by a water spray truck so that dust is not a problem, even as they move dirt and work the land. What I am trying to get across here is this: the Bible is rife with imagery about water, and for the most part, we don’t get it. We have no idea what it means to be thirsty, really thirsty.

When God said, through the prophet Isaiah For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground, or when He said come, all you who are thirsty; come to the waters. The people understood this imagery for what it was. It spoke to perhaps the deepest physical need that they had – the need for water. When God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water, the people understood the imagery of their sin – broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Sin can never satisfy you, you will always be thirsty. And then when Our Lord Jesus said If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him and when he said to the Samaritan woman at the well Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life, the reaction was from someone who knew what it meant to be thirsty. She knew what it meant to drag herself to the well every day, in the heat and the dust, simply to do what we take so easily for granted. Sir, she said, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water. Her reaction was completely understandable, and it was completely physical. But Jesus had something else in mind; he revealed himself to her as the Messiah. Thirst can make us look for answers. The dryness can give us a perspective that we cannot have any other way. The reality of spiritual condition before Christ is worse than those images that I wrote about. We are completely without life, we are in the deepest of deserts. But, the reality of our spiritual condition in Christ is so much more than we understand. We are so drenched with God, in Christ, that we literally stand justified before a righteous and holy God. We have a never ending source of water (The Holy Spirit) welling up from within us. We have more than we will ever need. More than we need to get through cancer, coma, or chaos. More than we need to face tomorrow. More than we need to rise up in blessing and holiness in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and reflect His glory. For that is our purpose. May we be refreshed in a dry and weary land, where there is no water.

All who are thirsty
All who are weak
Come to the fountain
Dip your heart in the stream of life
Let the pain and the sorrow
Be washed away
In the waves of his mercy
As deep cries out to deep (we sing)

Come Lord Jesus come
Holy Spirit come
As deep cries out to deep

Blessed Be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name