I’m not a green-thumb person, but for Mother’s Day I bought my wife some purple flowers to put around the mailbox. The label said they’re “vincas.” (Not to be confused with ancient native Peruvians with a similar name.) I even planted them in special, high-potency soil. The flowers did grow rapidly and adorned the front yard.
Then summer came, with high temperatures and little rain. Safeguarding my botanical investment, I went out at least every other day to water the flowers. Every time I pulled into our driveway, I felt sorry for the little fellers, panting and chlorophyll-tinted tongues hanging out due to thirst. I had to give them a drink once in awhile.
Our little green friends’ plight reminded me of a couple of passages in the Bible. In the Beatitudes, Jesus stated, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6). In the Psalms, King David had written about himself in similar terms: “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” (Psalm 63:1).
Do I really thirst for God, for His righteousness? Maybe that’s the problem with Christian America. We’ve become absorbed into the culture, opting for a convenient, comfortable God – not one that has us desperately thirsting for Him, as one thirsts after mowing a lawn on a hot summer day.
As Patrick Morley wrote in his book, The Man in the Mirror, we have settled for the God we want, not the God who is. Maybe once we work up a thirst for God, as described in the Scriptures, we can again serve as salt and light in this “dry and weary land where there is no water.”