Standing in the jet bridge waiting to board my flight from Orlando, the air is thick and the temperature sweltering. I watch the group of college students ahead of me jostling one another, laughing and antsy with excitement about their trip. The long line of travelers waiting to board look impatient and fidgety. All are ready to get on with it, tired of standing in a crowded tunnel. I’m hot. I’m tired. I feel depleted. I know I’m in need of refreshment and renewal, so I go to the well of living water while I’m standing in a line of weary travelers.
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters . . . Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live . . . Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.” (Isa. 55:1, 3, 6)
God’s invitation to Israel to find their thirst quenched in Him is an invitation that spans beyond the Old Testament. Jesus sends out this same call:
“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7: 37–38)
In the middle of crowded humanity, I need to get to God. I pause to make an altar. I don’t bow my head or close my eyes, but silently I enter a quiet place of worship. I cry out to the One who alone can fully satisfy my thirst. I ask Him to replenish what days of physical and emotional depletion have taken from me. I worship Him for being the Almighty, the never-changing One, the faithful Redeemer, my Father, my God. And suddenly, I’m filled with fresh gratitude that He would choose me and invite me to enter into relationship with Him.
My heart turns to pray for the girl in line ahead of me, a stuffed koala bear dangling from her backpack. She looks like she’s in the season of transition from adolescence to womanhood. My mind drifts to all those standing in the tunnel. My prayer continues, How many know You? How many have heard of Your living water? When will You be exalted in our nation? I plead for revival, for those waiting in this line to be exposed to the gospel, to encounter believers who have experienced life-changing transformation.
We’re moving now. Loading up the plane with passengers ready to take flight. How many? How many are busily running across the country to board meetings, job interviews, doctors’ appointments, visits with family and friends . . . yet never knowing the One who offers living water?
I want to stand and shout, Do you know Him? Do you know the One who will satisfy your deep yearnings? He can make you whole! Would you like to hear about Him?
But that isn’t what I’m called to do today. I’m called to pray today, not to shout the gospel aloud to a plane full of weary souls. I am called to be obedient to every opportunity God provides. Maybe one day He’ll let me shout it from the rooftops, but that isn’t His assignment for me today. I hope to share His story with my seatmate; as I smile and settle in for our ride, I pray for His Spirit to lead me. But as I begin fastening my seat belt she folds her arms, closes her eyes, and begins a long-flight nap. And I pray.
Making an altar of intercession and worship replenishes my weary heart. He alone fully refreshes. It is a paradox really, that He provides what we so desperately need as we worship Him and intercede for others.
Are you weary? Jesus invites you to come to the living water. He desires for you to drink deeply of Him and to share this grand invitation with others. Have you made an altar today?