There are a couple of occasions that I remember being really thirsty.

The first was when I had my wisdom teeth out under a general anaesthetic in hospital. My gums had been stitched but continued oozing blood. The nurse checked them every half-hour or so but refused to let me have a drink until the bleeding had stopped. I was obsessed with getting a drink of cool water. I could almost feel it, taste it, I was desperate for it. But every time she shone her little torch into my mouth she said no. I felt like I hated her. I prayed. Water, water, water. It was all I could think about.

Oh the beautiful moment when she shone her torch on my gums, smiled and poured me a small glass of water with ice cubes clinking. It was the best drink I’ve ever had.

The second was when I was on a work trip in Al Ain and we drove out into the desert for a picnic. A few of us thought it would be fun to climb the hugest sand dune you’ve ever seen. It towered above us like high rise flats. My boss David manfully climbed to the top holding a two litre bottle of water. At first climbing up was fun. But about three quarters of the way to the top, I wondered if I’d make it. I’d take one step forward and slide several back. There was nothing to grip onto. Sand slipped from under my scrabbling feet and hands and it was all to easy to slide down. Desert sand is fine, almost like dust, and it got in my throat, drying it out. I sprawled on the steep dune and gazed longingly at the bottle of water far out of my reach, balanced on the ridge. (David heartlessly took a photo of my moment of desperation). I had to keep going.

Oh the exhilaration of sprawling over the ridge of the dune and reaching for the water. Mmmmhhhhh.

King David longed for God like that: as the deer pants for water, my soul pants for You.

Jesus said that if anyone was thirsty, they should ask, and He would give them the Holy Spirit so that they’d never thirst again. In fact, rivers of living water would flow from them.

God offers to give us drink from the river of His delights because He is the fountain of life.

The only requirement is to be thirsty. All you have to do is ask.