BY KAREN GERVAIS
"Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion.
“I'm dying of thirst,” said Jill.
“Then drink,” said the Lion.
“May I - could I - would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill.
The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.
The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
“Will you promise not to - do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.
“I make no promise,” said the Lion.
Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
“Do you eat girls?” she said.
“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn't say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
"I daren't come and drink," said Jill.
"Then you will die of thirst," said the Lion.
"Oh dear!" said Jill, coming another step nearer. "I suppose I must go and look for another stream then."
"There is no other stream," said the Lion.
(C.S. LEWIS, THE SILVER CHAIR)
As the Deer Pants for Streams
How many times I have cried in desperation, "Where else can I go, Lord?
Who else is stronger for me to lean on?
Who else has the answers and is Himself the answer?
Who else is the fountain of wisdom and the giver of mercy?
So, why do I, why do we corporately as His people and as Christian women, seek out so many other streams?
Why do we fill our vessels with so many things that are not Christ?
Why do this world’s philosophies appeal to us so?
Perhaps we women, like the girl in the story, believe there are other streams that can fill our mouths with refreshing and quench our desperate thirst.
Streams that seem safer, less controversial, more inclusive.
Streams that have easier access than having to bypass a Lion.
Streams that boast better tasting water-- cooler, more refreshing.
Streams whose currents tickle our ears and delight our senses.
We'll drink from contaminated streams because, just as in the beginning in Eden, we believe there is something better, more fulfilling than the sustenance offered in Christ. Something sweeter than the truth found in the Gospel.
Jeremiah the prophet wrote, "You, my people, have sinned in two ways--you have rejected me, the source of life-giving water, and you've tried to collect water in cracked and leaking pits dug in the ground."
We are no different than they. It's the crazy cycle-- We long for something else. We seek, we crave, we drink; and we come up empty. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
This is why God beckons us with love and outstretched arms, "Come, all who are thirsty!" (Book of Isaiah) and why Christ promised his Spirit as the endless Living Water that would quench our spiritual thirst and flow out from us. (The Gospel of John).
God knows the substitutes we find to fill us will not satisfy. He knows how thirsty we are as women in a world that constantly whets our thirst with so many other streams of fulfillment outside of Christ. And, He knows about the contaminated wells and streams we frequent.
So, to us, in our squat on the ground, holding our broken pots of contaminated water close to our chests, He lovingly calls, "Come! Drink! And be truly satisfied."
If we find ourselves seeking and considering if there are "other streams," perhaps we are not getting our fill in Christ.
Where else can I go?
Where else can we go?
He alone has the words that bring life.
"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul longs after You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God." (Psalm 42)
This is my heart's cry.
Is it yours? As daughters of the Most High God, I pray it is.
To thirst after Him, and leave all other streams-- that are not really streams at all-- behind.