When I thirst

I can't mess up God's plan. My failure doesn't ruin me and my achievement doesn't elevate me. This whole thing, life, is not about me or you, it's about Jesus. The story of His love is reflected in the lives of His people, not by what they do, but by what He does with what they do. Grace twists sin into something that reflects God's love and mercy. ~Serena Woods, Grace is for Sinners
One thing I learned in the psychiatric ward is that God's word is precious to the thirsty. Not the prideful, the upright, the perfectionists, or the theologians. While it may be precious to them, it is through the testing of faith by fire that we learn to long for that long, slow drink of God's streams of living water.

I was thirsty the whole time I was there, poring over Scripture from Lamentations to Revelation, on a treasure hunt to find the gold He'd left there for me in this verse, that verse. I saw it in the biker who read a pink Bible for 3 whole days before returning it to me. I saw in the hunger of one woman's eyes as she longed for the answer to her question: when have I pushed my Savior too far, enough that He'll refuse me, just like everyone else in my life has done?

The answer to all of it is Grace. Simply Grace. God gave it freely, gives it freely, and we just drench our thirsty throats with His liquid gold. It's so much less about what you're accomplishing or what you're achieving, or even dreaming or dreading. It is simply the act of giving thanks for what He has given you. Whether it be your 1,000 Gifts list from Ann Voskamp's miraculously glorious idea, or recognizing your thirst and quenching it. Sometimes I thank God for a cigarette, the 5 minutes of absolute relief from anxiety and tumult of spirit one cigarette brings. Sometimes it is for the sun that I praise, those golden, long unharvested rays of spring soaking deep into my core and warming me from the inside out.

And what if you're a perfectionist like me, brought to her knees through inability to be perfect? Or a theologian unable to unlock the true meaning of a Scripture, even after studying the Hebrew and the Greek? What if who you are right now is upright, righteous? Is there no sin you repent of? Nothing for which you can give thanks that you did not do with your own two hardworking hands and a heart beating overtime to God's drum? What if you are proud, of those accomplishments, the medals you earn on the way to the Throne? When we get there, some will burn into nothingness, others will remain as gold, silver and precious stones (from I Corinthians 3). The same fire burns for the works of the righteous, the proud, the "perfect", as it burns for the homeless, those in rehab, those struggling with nightmares, curses, and laments. All men created equal. God loves us all, and grace conquers all.

In the deep of this pit, I soak up His words that He needs me, wants me, believes me, has redeemed me and called me worthy. Worthy to carry His words to a thirsty world. What are you bringing today to the thirsty world? I am just bringing my jumbled brain, my social anxiety, and my heart on fire for Christ.

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conqu’rors we are!

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
~Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, Helen Lemmel, 1922, sung here by Alan Jackson~