thirst: quenching a thirst we might ignore

thirsty - cat drinking from a fountain -quenching our thirst

It doesn’t take much to remind us we are thirsty and to find the means to quench it. Whether we snuggle up with a steaming mug of coffee, hot chocolate or herbal tea on a cold winter’s day, or gulp down cool, refreshing glasses of water, juice or lemonade in reaction to increasing heat, we can easily satiate that need.

But we might be less aware of our inner soul thirst. Not just the drives and desires, the passions that fuel and fire our activities, but a gnawing spiritual awareness of our emptiness and how to fill it.

Even if our eyes are opened, we might choose to satisfy the insatiable thirst inside with physical things or with compulsive behaviour that could end up harming us, if not our purse.

During my recent stint in the soul desert wilderness, it took me a while to register my need to reach out to God and to realise how thirsty I was. At first, I was too lost in my thoughts. Too pulverised by fatigue, weakness and pain, and too discouraged to see light at the end of the tunnel.


A voice calls across the desert
sitting in our souls,
encouraging us to listen,

to pause and bend down low,
prepare ourselves to drink
as much as we might need

from a Well that never dries out,
from the Fountain of Life himself,
from a place where all must kneel

in order to receive
because we thirst for more
than life’s bare necessities.

And we come as life’s lost
and lonely wounded ones,
the broken people

who are depleted and undone,
barren, empty and incomplete
and dying on our feet,

because our souls have shrunk
to fit the world we’re in
instead of being wholly

comfortable in our own skin,
as it stretches to the heavens
and back again.
© joylenton

thirst - woman drinking from a jug - thirsty poem excerpt (C) joylenton

In the desert of depression and ditches of discouragement we get into, we can be slow to cotton on to the fact that God is already present with us in our struggles. He tries to attract our attention in numerous ways, yet we can be too self-preoccupied or stressed to notice. We thirst, but we don’t always know what for.

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” – Jeremiah 31:25 NIV

God might lead us into the desert for some necessary soul maintenance work, as He did with me, but He won’t abandon us to our fate. Rather, He stays, encourages, whispers hope and healing to our hearts and gently leads us out again when the time is ripe.

Then when we emerge from the desert, from our painful places, we discover our thirst for God’s presence has grown. We thirst for His Word and His voice. He is the Well we keep searching for, and it never runs dry.

10 thoughts on “thirst: quenching a thirst we might ignore

    • Amen, Jacquie, so He does! What grace it is to be given God’s close companionship in our trials, and His gracious hand to help lift us out of them. Blessings to you, my friend. ☺️❤

    • Nancie, it’s good to know you understand what desert living is like. I’m grateful for your company. I didn’t feel very wise when I kicked my heels in the desert and frequently lamented my lot. But I guess some lessons were learnt along the way, especially now with the benefit of hindsight! Blessings. 😊❤️

  1. So beautiful, Joy! Thank you for reminding us of a place where the well never runs dry, that our souls can always be refreshed through Christ and His word. I really love your poem. Blessing and love to you, dear sister/poet/friend! xoxo

    • You’re welcome, Gayl! I’m so glad these words spoke to you. I certainly need that reminder myself. It gives us hope to know we won’t always stay in a season of difficulty and drought. I’m grateful to be coming out of the desert after several months spent wilting there. Now God has refreshed my soul and my ability to write poetry as well, which is a relief and a joy to me. Blessings, love and hugs to you, dear sister/poet/friend! xoxo 💜❤

  2. So, so beautiful Dear Joy. Words about the well have blessed me for many years, ever since I portrayed that woman in a drama we shared. But you are so right–we forget that the well is always open before us. The desert so easily consumes, and weariness overtakes us before we even realize what has happened. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely poem birthed in that very place of dryness. Your words are such a gift from Him. Blessings, love and hugs to you my dear friend! Xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, the well story is full of significance and hope, isn’t it? I’m always blessed by it too. You’re right in saying “The desert so easily consumes” because that’s exactly how it feels, as if our essence has become no more than mirages and sand. Yet as the poem reveals, it’s in that very place of dryness and loss that we thirst most for the refreshing waters of God. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and bringing the beautiful gift of encouragement with you as well. Blessings, love and hugs to you too, dear friend! xoxo 💜

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