“Be amazed at this, O heavens, and shudder with sheer horror, says the Lord. Two evils have my people done: they have forsaken me, the source of living waters; they have dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:12-13)
Those who seek God find a never-ending source of divine food and water for the soul. God can be found outside ourselves – in the beauty of nature or in loving relationships, for example – or within ourselves through the peace and joy of deep prayer and meditation. Something within us knows only God can really satisfy us.
God is living water, always fresh, always new. “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. . . . streams of living water will flow from within him” (John 7:37-38). True seekers of any religion know this. Yet like Israel of old, addressed by Jeremiah, we wander off in search of satisfaction in mortal beings and soon-to-be-broken material objects.
We take a sip of God, say to ourselves, “That was great!” and then go running off in search of “more” in a rich meal, a sexual encounter, a new outfit, the latest movie, or whatever. Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with food/drink, sex, or material objects. They are all part of God’s creation, given to us as part of life in this world. But we are not meant to run after such things, to allow them to become gods we worship instead of the One True God.
The “trouble” with God (if I may say so) is that God quenches our thirst and yet always leaves us wanting more. We become impatient because we want complete satisfaction and we want it NOW. We have difficulty being content staying where we are and obeying the Lord when He tells us: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10). God is exalted within.
Our task is learning to accept the fact that only God satisfies us – and yet we will always feel somewhat dissatisfied in this world. Something will always be missing. That “something” is the fullness of God in eternity. Until then, may we be content to pray with David, “As the deer longs for running streams, so my soul longs for You, my God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God. When can I enter and see the face of God?” (Psalm 42:1-2).
Dear Lord, forgive us for running after idols in our weakness (which is every day). Please see the true intention of our heart – to run after You – and help us be faithful to You. Amen. Aum….