Today I continue my series of running devotions for My TEA CUPP for Athletes & Runners Book & Journal. This devotion is one I ran five years ago. Water fits so well with the training we talked about last week. I pray these writings will be a blessing to you and you will be encouraged to PRESS ON in whatever God calls you to do!
Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10 (NKJV)
I still remember the watering trough in our high school football practice field. Our cross country team ran practices around the field in the blazing sun and gladly stopped for breaks at the water fountain. It was a metal trough about 3 feet long, standing on posts about waist-high. Several spigots squirted water out for multiple athletes to be refreshed. The water, though I’m not certain of its origin, tasted like the coldest, freshest well water on earth. Perhaps it was those half-mile repeats on a sultry August afternoon that made the water especially quenching. We would gulp and guzzle the icy liquid, putting our heads under the stream, wishing we could just climb into the trough.
I was reminded of this water when praying and fasting an Esther fast (Esther 4:16). Though during many fasts I drink water, an Esther fast is no food or water for three days. Men can do a Paul fast, who also had no food or water when God called him on the way to Damascus (Acts 9:9). My fast came at the hottest part of summer, the kind of days where you would like to just sit in the shade and sip lemonade. Though a cool drink was what my body craved, I was determined to honor God by fulfilling my fast. As my thirst grew, my thoughts flew back over 30 years to that high school watering trough. It was the most refreshing place I could imagine.
And so I prayed to Jesus, the Living Water, to be that water for me, to quench my thirsty body and soul. And He did, and He continues each day.
For with You is the fountain of life… Psalm 36:9
The Runner’s TEA CUPP: My friend, our souls all thirst for something that only Jesus can quench. Let Jesus fill that thirst within you! Drink up His Word each day. John 4 is a great place to begin. The Bible satisfies our every need as we learn about God’s mercy and love for us. Be sure to drink both from His Word and a big water bottle when you go to exercise.
As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God… Psalm 42:1-2 (NKJV)
O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water. Psalm 63:1 (NKJV)
Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13-14 (NKJV)
Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.