Psalm 146:4-6 I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear. I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done. I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.
Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
Philippians 4:10-14 How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.
What do we need? I’m not talking about what do we want, but rather what is it that we really need in this life to survive? Physically, we really only need three things. We need food, water, and shelter. Yep, that’s it. The list is short. If we would only eat and drink what was required to sustain us and be healthy, we’d be alright, but no, we can’t do that! At least not here in Mississippi. We love our coffee, sweet tea, and sodas. Instead of consuming a lot of water, we drink way too many sugary sweet drinks. Then we add loads of carbs and fats to our diet. We indulge a bit too much at the buffets. Mississippi is number one in the United States for obesity, and number two for diabetes and hypertension. Out of fifty states, we are on the top of those three lists. These are lists that we shouldn’t be on if we are trying to remain healthy. But there we sit, right on top. I don’t like that we are on the top of these three lists, but I have to admit I understand it in part. Nobody else cooks like Mississippi. We have traveled a good bit, and naturally, trying out the local cuisine is a favorite part of travel. We have not tasted food with as much delectable flavor anywhere in our travels that even comes close to good old Mississippi home cooking. So where does this leave us? We’re fat, probably dehydrated, and for the most part, we have adequate shelter, but is this really what we need? I have to say no.
We do need food, water, and shelter physically, but we also crave these things spiritually. Why? Because there is a void within us that longs for a relationship with Jesus Christ. We need spiritual food and water. Matthew 5:6 reads, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” We hunger and thirst for a relationship with Christ and that relationship makes us right with God. We will never be satisfied until we fill that void. Matthew 4:4 reminds us that we can not live by bread alone, “but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” We need the bread of the Father to fill us up spiritually. And what about water? “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Christ is the living water that we crave, and the only living water that will sustain us an offer us eternal life. And Psalm 91 has been one of my favorite psalms the past few months, and it tells us where we can find shelter. We find it in the arms of the Most High.
We all agree that we need food, water, and shelter to survive, and we sure do a fine job at making sure those physical needs are met. But what about the spiritual need for food, water, and shelter. Are we on the top of the lists for those things. Are we number one in the state for hungering and thirsting after Christ. Are we thirsting for Christ like we thirst for our morning coffee? Are we craving a relationship with him like we crave a big old ribeye steak and baked potato? Are we resting in the shelter of the Most High? We should be thirsty for God. We should be longing to be in His presence and know more about Him, grow in our faith and our relationship with Him, and then go share this with others. We should long as the psalmist in Psalm 42:1-2 longs, “As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?”
Y’all, we have to stop being number one in things that are bad for us, and start striving to be number one at seeking spiritual wellness. Of course, as a nurse practitioner, I want you to seek physical wellness too, but spiritual health is even more important to me than physical health. How do we get healthy? I spend all day teaching people that they need to eat low carbohydrate, low salt, low fat diets, and I encourage water and regular exercise. We know what we need to do, it’s just a matter of doing those things. It’s the same way for spiritual health. We need to take in the necessary nutrition. We have the holy Word of God to feed on. It is sweeter than honey. You just have to dive in and taste it. It’s all right there. Nutrition for the soul can be found in the Bible. You say you’re not really hungry or thirsty for the Word? Well, my friend, I’m going to tell you to pray that God makes you hungry and thirsty for His Word and for a relationship with Him. Be careful though. If you ask for it, you will get it! God wants you in His word. He wants a relationship with Him, and if you ask, He will definitely provide. He will provide all of the spiritual nourishment we need, and we can rest knowing that we are always in the shelter of the Most High.
So what do we really need? The answer can’t get much simpler. We need Jesus! If we learn to turn our focus on Him alone, His Word, and living for Him, we will have all that we need because He will work all the rest of it out for our good and His glory every single time!