ELEPHANT SIZE THIRST
I am sure you are familiar with the lament…… “Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink!”
The western nations of this world are blessed to have fresh clean water in abundance and going thirsty is not one of their major issues. However, there are many third world countries where clean water is scarce. Contaminated and diseased water is a major problem and, sickness and death often result.
Have you ever found yourself with a thirst so intense that you could not focus on anything else?
I have experienced intense thirst while living in Rhodesia. (Zimbabwe)
Sitting on the banks of the great Limpopo River, cooling off after a bone jarring journey over rough bush roads, thirst would be upper most in our minds. Seeing a herd of Springbok prancing on dainty legs heading down to the river for water was a beautiful scene, yet it only made us more aware of our own desire for a long cool drink of water.
Then a family of elephant silently appeared through the bush and headed for the river. The matriarch was leading them with confidence as she “knew” about this abundant water source. These majestic “gentle giants” have a level of intelligence that Wild Life experts still have not totally tapped into. They walk miles from one end of their territory to another in search of food and water. The Matriarch is the leader, teacher and role model for the family group. She sets the tone, mood and sense of security through her body language and vocalization to each member under her watchful eye. They even have the ability to use infrasonic sounds, which are sounds emitted below the human hearing range, in long distance communication with other herds of elephants.
Another mark of their intelligence is they have a great capacity to remember, places, smells, sounds and situations where they were either fearful or comforted. Also their sense of smell is one their life saving attributes. Depending on which Wild Life expert you glean your information from; elephants can smell water three to twelves miles away! The Matriarch even knows what dry river beds will have water under the dry sands that they can dig for and during seasons of severe drought this knowledge saves her family, especially the babies in the herd, from certain death. Water is vital to their well-being as an adult elephant will drink about 225 liters (56 gallons) of water per day and this can sometimes be drunk during a single visit. Each trunkful may amount to between 4 and 8 liters (1 to2 gallons).
Sitting on the banks of the Limpopo feasting our eyes on the scene unfolding before us only added to our desire to throw caution to the wind and plunge into the cooling water splashing and drinking to our heart’s content. This would have been a serious lapse in judgment if we had followed our impulse.
We had drinking water with us but had to be very frugal not to waste one drop and only drink when necessary.
Many Rhodesians from the early years would carry canvass water bags, filled with pure drinking water. One or two of the canvass bags would be hung on the front of the vehicle which had the effect of making the water extremely cool and refreshing. Whenever we travelled in the bush it was vital we carry enough drinking water for our journey or the ability to purify river water; as the African heat will dehydrate the human body very quickly.
God created us with a thirst for water being one of our strongest desires, for without it, we cannot live.
I think the Psalmist might have been sitting beside a bubbling stream watching a deer quietly stepping out of the shadows to reach the thirst quenching water, when he penned these words:
Psalm 42:1-2 “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.”
The Psalmist wrote of his soul thirsting for God, “for the living God.”
See the beautiful picture the Psalmist has painted for his readers.
He uses the deer as an illustration to describe how he longs for his God. As this animal is parched to the point of panting for the water, it sounds as if the deer is about to faint from thirst. The water gives the deer life again as he drinks it in to quench his thirsting body. Instinctively, the animal knows that he will die without water. The Psalmist expresses his desire for the living God the same way, knowing that he will die without God as his source of life.
Have you ever had that kind of desire for God? Has your soul ever longed for the Lord to the point of thirsting after Him, and panting after Him?
Once you have tasted of His living water, you will thirst for Jesus so intensely that all you will want is to be with Him, to see Him face-to-face.
We need to become like the Matriarch elephant who “KNEW” the source of the life giving water for her family.
God is our source to quench that inner longing thirst for eternal life, joy and peace. Drink long and deep from His fountain of life today.
John 7:37-38 (NKJV) “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”