I love water.
Hot water that has been tinged by a tea bag or dripped through some coffee grounds. I love cold water that has been sweetened by powder or blasted with carbonation and caramel coloring. I struggle . . . with plain water. I will always choose a flavored beverage over plain water even when I know that my body is thirsty for it.
That changed when I started a healthy eating program. They said I had to drink a minimum of 64 oz. of water a day—PLAIN with no sweet disguise. No exceptions. Sadly, my thought was ughh, how can I do this? It took discipline but I got it done even if it meant I was sitting up in bed at night gulping the last of my ounces. They were right—there is no replacement for plain water when it comes to flushing out your body. I started to have energy and felt better than I had in a long time. As my eating coach said, “Why would you not drink fresh water when you have it fully accessible to you?” He was right. So many countries do not have clean drinking water. The more plain water I drank, the more I craved it.
V-2: As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and appear before God?
When I thirsted for God I would turn to a devotion. Devotions are the flavored water of life. I still love devotions and have memorized many quotes from amazing godly people that have helped me turn my focus to the Lord. But there was still a thirst that wasn’t quenched by devotions when I was in the more challenging times of my life.
V.3: My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
There was a time when I didn’t feel a really close connection to God—I was spiritually parched. I wasn’t in any church groups or Bible studies and was living a lifestyle that suited my personal desires. I decided to pick up my Bible, even though I imagined God wasn’t super pleased with me, and I found the Psalms and spent years hovering in them. The Psalms became the ultimate devotions of the Bible for me, a place of rest to for my weary soul.
V.4: These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise.
I praise God that He never let me go even in my darkest times. I started talking more with God through prayer.
V.11: Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.
I started doing simple Bible studies, which led to in-depth Bible studies, and I found I loved digging into scripture. Quickly I was in awe of the prophecy and interwoven true stories from thousands of years ago that applied to my life today.
Then, as with anything that becomes routine, my Bible reading became a little bit of a chore—because I was reading it only to complete my Bible study. Later at a recent conference, speaker Karen Alexander Doyel said, “Do you read your Bible every day to spend time with God? It may not come easy at first . . . it takes discipline, but the more you do it, it will turn into desire and then it will turn into delight!”
It was a spiritual “I could have had a V-8!” moment.
I had forgotten the importance of reading the Bible to commune with God without an agenda (like I had done for years in the Psalms). My Bible reading life has had its ups and downs depending on what stage I was at, but . . .
V.8: By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life.
One thing remains the same: The Bible is true, perfect and customized by Him for you. Just like trying to get down 64 oz. of plain water when you are used to soda, reading the Bible can seem a little challenging at first. Stick with it even if you are up early or late to get in at least 64 words—you’ll eventually crave it every day and it will change your life. Just like plain water for your body, there is nothing like the plain (amazing) Bible for your life.
Do you like to drink plain water cold or room temperature and how do you know when you are thirsty for God? Tell us in the comments below.