The sunny day called me outside these walls with so many unfinished tasks amidst our move…
A breeze blowing cool in the warm air, the cloudless sky reflecting on the deep blue of the waters. And they were edged with mounds of amber, pumpkin, maroon and green.
I filled my polar water bottle-I aways leave it in the freezer half-full for heavy-on-the-ice, and I hopped on my bike. Days like this in Wisconsin are a rare treasure and worth dropping pressing tasks in order to grab hold of the brief opportunity.
You might say here in the North country, that we thirst for days like this. I’ve even heard it said, “I’d like to bottle this day!”
Because we know it well: Winter will soon weary us and create a deep thirst for liberty from coats and shoveling and feeling closed in. And our lengthy winters lend to our savoring of these days.
Ten miles out, I came to Nye. A ‘blink-and-you-miss-it’ little town I’ve driven through countless times since moving to this side of the river from our home in Minnesota.
This photo is of the hill in Nye that draws my gaze and my curiosity in the fall. Could I make it up that road on my bike? I’ve done some steep inclines in Montana and Bismarck…so I crossed the highway from the trail.
I was a third of the way up when my legs ached, “DONE!”and I hopped off. I walked up a little farther before deciding it was a good place to free-ride down and, as Christopher Cross sings, ride like the wind.
Due to my personal inner slave-driver ,”Productivity”, I jumped back on the trail and headed for home. By this time, my water was nearly gone. All but the slow-melting ice chunk which offered me only drips at a time. I was thirsty most of the way home riding against the wind…and grateful for the abundance of water when I returned home.
Psalm 24:3 references ascending the hill of the Lord. Among many other references, Hebrews 12:22 calls it Zion, a place generally referred to as the ‘City of God’, or Jerusalem.
When we follow Jesus, we are invited to come boldly into His presence to receive mercy and help in our time of need. I’m only guessing about you, but I need His help like I need water. Constantly.
Toward the end of the book of Ezekiel, in a vision from the Lord, he sees a river of water flowing ‘from below the threshold of the temple’ and the water is heading toward the Dead Sea. When it arrives there it is so deep no one can cross it. When it reaches the Dead Sea-everything comes to life. There are swarms of fish in the water. Then Ezekiel is taken to the banks of the river where he sees trees which are not subject to drought, because they are near the life-giving water, they perpetually bear fruit. Their fruit will be for nourishing food and their leaves for refreshing healing. Ezekiel 47:1-12
And this ‘water’ is the Spirit of God who hovered over the waters in Genesis 1:2 bringing the Life of God to the earth. Creating everything- ALL things. By His Word and by His Presence.
I am seeing that for Creation to take place-or healing, or transformation, or true information, we need to be near the Life-Giver.
We need to ascend to the Holy Mountain-the place where God dwells. Head on up to Zion.
Thirst moves us toward the thing that will satisfy it. We all thirst, but we often go to the wrong source. And end up thirsty again. Our husband doesn’t seem to be doing it for us, often marriage seems more like a battle than the comfort of being loved that we expected. Our career may have fulfilling days, but often leaves us feeling empty. The house we have labored over, designing just the right kitchen, seems void. Or the friendships we hope will satisfy us, well…they often don’t. Satisfaction seems elusive.
Because people, careers, houses, friends…they do not have the power to give life. They only can enhance our life experience if we treat them as they were meant to be: gifts.
So, have you recognized that the satisfaction for your thirst-your deepest unfulfilled longing… is always and only the Life-Giver? Do you want anything less than a relationship with the One who alone can create LIFE? Even when we have been living life with Jesus as our friend for a long time, we can still be seeking our completion in other things or people. It’s good to have our heart checked from time to time. It’s preventative maintenance.
Where is your thirst leading you? Do you head up the mountain every morning? Or are you dawdling down at the bottom hoping to find what you are looking for, but coming up empty?
Read Psalm 107:9 and Psalm 107:33 and Isaiah 55:1 and John 6:35 and John 7:37… Drink deep from the River of God.