Thirst by Randy Rowley 7/11/14 ©


My son, Ryan, had a football game on the third Friday night in September, so my father-in-law, the late Ken Brigman, Ryan, and I missed the first day of the south zone dove hunt on the Kanapick day lease near Dilley, about 60 miles south of San Antonio.  We arrived on Saturday around noon and were surprised to see that many dove were flying about, especially near the tanks.  We were also amazed at how hot it was.  I didn’t have a thermometer but guessed that it was already above 100 degrees.

We set up camp and chilled in the shade until the afternoon hunt.  The ranch owner had a covered storage area that had no walls.  We sat under it to avoid the blistering heat.

We headed to a large sunflower field around mid-afternoon.  Although we had 25 hunters, there was plenty of room to spread out.  The birds starting flying and falling in short order.  There were no whitewings, but the sky was black with mourning dove.  Most hunters enjoyed seeing the most dove they had ever seen, and most got their limits in short order.

I had bagged a dozen dove but stopped hunted and headed to my truck.  No, I wasn’t out of shotgun shells – I was thirsty.  Make that very thirsty.  In addition to being thirsty I was weak and light headed.  I had long before drank the water that I had brought with me and now all that I could think about was quenching my thirst.

I went to my truck, got a half gallon jug of ice water, found some shade, poured half of the water over my head and drank the rest. But even then my thirst wasn’t quenched! One of the hunters gave me a couple Gatorades and after drinking those I finally started feeling closer to normal. But I was still weak and had no desire to finish out my limit. For the first time in my life I had experienced real thirst.

At sunset we went back to camp, cleaned the birds, cooked and ate dinner, and went to bed. But even sleeping with a fan blowing straight on me I couldn’t cool down. And neither could Ken. At 3:00 AM I did something that I’ve never done before or since – I left a weekend dove hunt early.  We packed up and headed home to Austin.

A short time after we got home I went to see my doctor.  A blood test revealed that I had type 2 diabetes (which explained why I became so thirsty).  I am convinced that if I had not experienced dehydration I would have never gotten myself checked and thus wouldn’t have started treatment.  Here was another case where the Lord caused all things to work together for my good (see Romans 8:28).

Dehydration can be very dangerous.  In advanced cases, the victim can become dizzy, disoriented, confused, and have decreased urine output with dark urine.  He can have a racing heart, be faint, and not be able to sweat.  Dehydration can lead to death.

The author of the 42nd Psalm must have observed wild animals that were very thirsty.  He wrote in Psalm 42:1, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.”

The Psalmist captured how God desires us to want him!  He wants us to be to the point of spiritual dehydration – to need him so tremendously that if we don’t quench our thirst for him, we will become sick.  He wants us to have the attitude that we will perish spiritually if we cannot have him.

Early in his ministry, Jesus encountered a sinful woman at Jacob’s well in Samaria and asked her for a drink of water.  John 4:9-15 says, “The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman.  How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews didn’t associate with Samaritans.)  Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”  “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep.  Where can you get this living water?  Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”  Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.’”

Do you desire him above all other things?  Do you feel a pang of thirst in your soul?  Only Jesus can quench it.  He wants us to run to him like a deer to a stream or a dehydrated hunter to a jug of ice water.  He wants us to gulp in his water and never thirst again.


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But who am I, and who are my people, That we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, And of Your own we have given You.


 January 2022