What Does a Thirsty Soul Want?

Dry Run Falls in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania

Reading with the Pastor
Proverbs 2; Psalm 63 and Hebrews 11

Reading Proverbs 2 today with the echo of yesterday’s chapter 1 and a glance across the page at chapters 3 and 4, I am struck by the concern Solomon displays for his son’s growth in wisdom and discernment.

  • 1:8      “Hear, my son . . .”
  • 1:10    “My son, . . .”
  • 1:15    “my son, . . .”
  • 2:1      “My son, . . .”
  • 3:1      “My son, . . .”
  • 3:11    “My son, . . .”
  • 4:1      “Hear, my sons, . . .”
  • 4:10    “Hear, my son, . . .”
  • 4:20    “My son, . . .”

This is a father’s heart.

He wants his children to learn from his experience. He has seen the world. He has made all the mistakes. He looks back on his life and wants to warn and protect and spare his sons the grief and the heartache he has brought upon himself or that he has watched others bring down on themselves. He is a father crying out in these proverbs to his sons, “listen and live. Search for wisdom in the ‘fear of God'” (v. 5).

Fathers, let’s pray that our children would be willing to hear. And let’s pray that our counsel to them would be filled with the knowledge of God (v. 5) so they will walk “in the way of the good and keep to the paths of righteous” (v 20).

Hebrews 11:20 brought me much comfort this morning.

“By faith Isaac invoked future blessings
on Jacob and Esau.” (ESV) 

“O God, I prayed over each of our children. In faith, each night of their childhood, I spoke a blessing over their heads and commended them to You. Remember O God, those blessings and fulfill every one. There is no God like you who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him (Isa. 64:4). We wait and watch for you to act. For Your great name and from under the blood of Christ our Savior, we ask it, Amen.”

Read Psalm 63 

1   O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
          my soul thirsts for you;
      my flesh faints for you,
          as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.


I was cutting the lawn
and trimming the bushes
and edging the driveway
and pulling weeds
and watering tomatoes
and raking debris
and chopping vines

and the sun was acting like a siphon
draining my body of moisture
putting the liquid I needed on the inside
on the outside of my skin
and I turned to my right to do . . .

something . . .

What was it?
One second ago I knew
But then, I didn’t know
and I kept turning
looking to find out why I had begun to turn.
But it eluded me.
It ran away from me
as I turned another 360 degrees.
What was I going to do?
I didn’t know.
I lost it.
It ran away from me.
I couldn’t remember.
My flesh was failing me.
My flesh was faint.
I was in a dry and weary land.
There was no water.
I was lost.
    “Maybe I should call it a day.
      Maybe I should go inside.
      Maybe I should get a drink.”
But instead I stood
thirsty, parched, depleted, broken.
Until her voice rescued me.

Wisdom spoke.
“Come in before you get heat stroke.”

Oh God, before my soul is struck,
before I lose my way,
before I turn in foggy circles
help me to find You

In a dry and weary land.
Help me to seek You, the Living Water.
Make me thirsty.
And satisfy me with Yourself.

Part of the Poetry Project.  
In December of 2009 or thereabouts, my son, Marty Schoenleber III (aka Marty S. Dalton), put a video up on Youtube.com. It inspired me to keep working on a project I thought of a couple of years ago. The idea is to write a poem of personal reflection for each Psalm in the Psalter. Here are some of the offerings so far. Some of the poems are preceded by a brief commentary.
Don’t think of any as high art. Think of these offerings as one poor man’s desire to draw nearer to Christ.

Go to Psalm 64

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