To Hunger and Thirst

Coming to God is to begin a journey towards hunger and thirst. To pursue Him is to be constantly in want even as we feast with Him. He is the Ever Elusive One; the God who’s self-giving both fills and instills a craving—a longing for more (Psa. 42:1-2).

In that He reveals himself, we can know Him, but only in measure. In Christ He is “God With Us”, but He is ever beyond us (Is. 55:9). He cleanses us that we might draw near Him, but He is a Consuming Fire (Deut. 4:24). We can speak of Him, but He is beyond all language (ineffable). We are broken vessels without the capacity to hold some—much less all of Him.

If we are blessed enough to have our passions focused on the joy of seeing His face we may receive glimpse of his passing glory (Ex. 33:22). He does this not because He is coy, not because He is spiteful or stingy, but because He is God. Nothing so limited as eyes can view the limitless God. Nothing so tender as ears can bear the roar of His voice (Psa. 29:5). We cannot stand in His presence and not be destroyed because He is God. Our path to Him is always mediated. We come through Christ, no longer shielded from His anger—but from His very nature.

We (I will count myself among you) who hunger and thirst for righteousness will indeed be filled, but we will ever be longing (Matt. 5:6). We will ask and receive and find ourselves unable to take Him in. We will ever be thirsty for more of Him particularly because we have tasted and known that He is good (Psa. 34:8).

Imagine that you stand at the foot of a great mountain that stretches the length and breath of the whole earth. Imagine that you want to see the mountain. If you stay at the foot of the mountain there is a great span that escapes your view. If you climb there is a great span that is beneath you. If you can reach the top you will see more but still never see into all the valleys, crevices, or each little nook. In a thousand lifetimes you could not explore this glorious scene. This is our God.

Or imagine that you have asked and been given the wealth of the nations. Imagine that day after day trucks come forward and deposit more and more treasures. Imagine that in your delirious joy you attempt to take in each piece, to study each article and to know them by heart. You work frantically and yet each day, each hour, each minute and every second you fall behind. Soon you are buried and can only see what is just at hand. This is our God.

Do you see the dilemma? Our God is so great, so grand, so expansive in His majesty that we cannot now nor will we ever be able to fully explore Him. His gifts are so many, so beautiful, and so constant that we will never contain them all. So, we might long for Him and receive Him only to find our hunger increase. We will receive more only to find our thirst deepen. This is our God.

He is our shepherd and so—we will never be in want (Ps. 23). All our needs will be met and yet His greatest gift to us now (and forever) is contentment. We will sit at the base of that great mountain or climb to a comfortable perch and be content to see His glory pass. This small glimpse will both satisfy for life and plant a deeper longing that eternity will not exhaust. We will be content to know we have caught a glimpse of Him, content to know that He has come near us, content to know He loves us. This is our God.

Copyright©2006 Hudson Russell Davis

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