Many years ago, a young man learned of a hermit who had devoted his entire life to Jesus Christ and who lived for nothing – and no one – other than the Son of God. Wanting to discover the hermit’s secret to such a life, the young man traveled the world until he finally found him.
Although unaccustomed to such attention, the hermit asked the young man to walk with him. The two did so until they came to a stream.
“In the water,” the hermit explained, “you will find Christ.”
The young man was confused and looked with bewilderment into the hermit’s face.
“In the water,” the hermit said again. “Look closely.”
The young man cast his gaze toward the running water and then looked up at the hermit.
“Closer,” the hermit said. “You must place your face in the water.”
Still perplexed, the young man did as he was told and remained there for a few seconds.
Suddenly the young man felt a hand on the back of his neck. It forced his head further into the water and held it there relentlessly.
A struggle ensued, but the hermit’s grasp was too strong. The young man’s entire body slowly went limp.
All at once, the hermit pulled the young man from the water.
Gasping for breath, the young man angrily confronted his assailant. “What were you thinking?” he yelled. “You tried to kill me!”
“To the contrary,” the hermit calmly replied. “I was merely doing as you asked.”
“You’re crazy!” the young man sputtered. “I have no idea what you mean.”
“You asked me the secret of my life,” the hermit explained. “You wanted to know why I devote myself entirely to Jesus Christ.”
“You see,” he continued, “once you need Jesus like you need air to breathe, you cannot – and will not – live without Him.”
In Psalm 42, a similar, albeit gentler, picture is painted by the Word of God:
As the deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
(Psalm 42:1-2, NLT)
To “long” for something means to yearn for it, to ache for it. If your throat has ever been truly parched, you know what the psalmist meant. If you have ever struggled to breathe, you know what the hermit meant.
Once we understand that we need God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – just as much as we need water or air to survive, our entire paradigm of faith changes. God is no longer a spiritual luxury; He is a spiritual necessity.
Today, no matter what you may be experiencing, please know that God is with you. He loves you. He will not fail you or forsake you.
And He is ready to be everything you need.
-- Dr. John Morris