I woke up at 3 am to the sound of my toddler screaming, “Watermelon, watermelon”.
At first, I thought maybe he was just having a bad dream; but a few minutes later, he was semi-awake and pretty insistent. He wanted watermelon. Of course, we did not have watermelon in the house.
I had a feeling that he was probably just thirsty. The last couple of days I struggled to get him to drink enough water.
So, I tried everything, but he simply refused the variety of drinks I offered and kept repeating, “Watermelon, watermelon”.
After what felt like an hour of trying to get him to calm down, he eventually drifted back to sleep. But I was wide awake, tossing and turning in an attempt to get comfortable with my own watermelon-sized belly.
Then, in the darkness and silence, I sensed the quiet whisper of the Holy Spirit telling me that I often act exactly like my two-year-old:
- I have an idea of what I want and when I want it.
- I am convinced that I know what is best for me.
In a grown up twist I am also justifying my desires because they seem acceptable or appear healthy in the eyes of the world.
And still, I am perfectly unaware of what I am truly thirsty for. In my ignorance, I fail to recognize that the very thing I need is right in front of me… Already poured out and offered in love.
While being fixated on my desire for inferior substitutes, I am tempted to reach out for the sweetened alternative. Or any other option which is appealing to the eyes but not satisfying to the taste.
It is hard to admit I do not always know better.
A few days ago, I walked into the bathroom just in time to stop the same little boy who doesn’t want to drink bottled water (the only safe option in Thailand) in his attempt to drink his tub water with his potty.
I can’t help but wonder if we sometimes look just as ridiculous when we try to do things our way. Also failing to realize possible harmful effects of our choices and actions.
I may know his needs better than my two-year-old, but as much as I wish I could, I cannot force him to drink water. “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink” apparently also applies to toddlers. I can simply keep on offering the water. Patiently hoping that he will come to his senses and bring the cup to his own lips to drink.
In the same way, God doesn’t force us to accept what we need most: to drink of the living water which gives eternal life. We have to desire it, ask for it, reach out to receive it, and drink.
I was reminded of the woman at the well:
“Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
And as I lay there in the morning hours, realizing that He knows all the ways I’m trying to fill the longing in my heart. All my attempts at finding fulfillment and getting what I want. Instead of simply trusting that He knows what I need.
I swallowed hard on my pride and prayed for forgiveness. Reaching out to the One who holds the water of everlasting life.
The One also standing right there next to you. Extending His grace, poured out and offered in love.
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