A Prayer for the Thirsty

Father God—

To say the way is long and the road is hard is beyond an understatement.

You know the weight that sits on our heavy hearts; the burdens we were never meant to bear. You know how tired and blistered our feet are, from going on for so long. And today, I’m not sure I can take another step.

There is a river in this valley.

We have the stench of death is our nostrils, yet we long to believe in our hearts what we know in our heads is true: that you are for us. That there is good for us, even here. Most days we can believe it, but there is the valley of death we are surrounded by the shadows of doubt.

There is a river in this valley.

We are tired of trying to manufacture faith. We can’t keep up the appearances any longer. We need you to open our eyes to see you in the every day. Lord, show us the miracle of every breath—that all is from you.

There is a river in this valley.

We are desperate for a drink of your Living Water. Where is this abundant life you promised us? I know you tell the truth but it’s hard to see when I have nothing left—we have nothing left.

Is there a river in this valley?

Where else could we go Lord? You alone have the words of life. You alone have the words of hope that promise all things working for good and for glory and eternal life is not a consolation prize.

There is a river in this valley.

And I can see clearly now: maybe you’ve been standing by, beckoning all along. Waiting so patiently, for me to run out of my own resources. For me to quit drinking from the dirty puddle of my own self-sufficiency, and instead to look up, see you, and lean my face over the edge of that stream of living water, and drink deeply from your never-ending grace.

The river was waiting all along.

We are a stubborn people God. Foolish and proud. I wish I could say we’d only have to learn this lesson once, but I know for myself at least, you’ll have to teach it to me time and time again.

But even in this knowledge, I can rest; because I know you will find me here again—and I will have the joy of being found.

And there is a river in this valley after all.

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