Hey TD’ers! How many of you often end up coming to the River, yet find yourself coming short of actually drinking from it? Or how about going into a situation with the intention of doing right, but not getting yourself to actually do right? Or committing to giving God your best, but not being able to actually give up what it takes to do so when presented with that sacred opportunity?
It is the decisions we make during those times of testing that reveal what we’re really made of, who we really are. They reveal our character. If you are in need of strengthening your character, please remember that true character is developed one choice at a time, and that every decision made informs your habits and begins to shape your character … for better or for worse.
Romans 5:3-5 speaks powerfully to this and shows why the true Christian can exult, even in tribulation; because “tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint.”
But it all starts with taking the first step of trusting and obeying God, even and especially in the most fundamental area of our lives: our hungers and thirsts. You all know where that hits home for you. Will you surrender and obey Him in the deepest parts of you? No one is better to listen to and obey than God Himself. – Arthur
CS Lewis depicts this elementary struggle well in The Silver Chair:
“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.
It never occurred to Jill to disbelieve the Lion—no one who had seen his stern face could do that—and her mind suddenly made itself up. It was the worst thing she had ever had to do, but she went forward to the stream, knelt down, and began scooping up water in her hand. It was the coldest, most refreshing water she had ever tasted. You didn’t need to drink much of it, for it quenched your thirst at once.