Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
A Song to the Lord

Quenching Our Thirst - "What Grace is Mine"

On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38 NRSV)

Columbanus was a leader of the Celtic revival that spanned the 400s to 800s AD in Ireland, spreading to the continent of Europe. He was a teacher, missionary, and founder of monasteries who fought against corruption in the church. His poetry, rules, and letters were formational for the culture of that time period.

One of the character traits of the leaders in this period of Celtic revival was living by spiritual disciplines, being particularly faithful in the discipline of prayer. In one of his prayers that has been preserved, we hear Columbanus calling on God for a greater experience of the presence and work of Christ in his life.

I beseech you, merciful God, to allow me to drink from the stream that flows from your fountain of life. May I taste the sweet beauty of its waters, which sprang from the very depths of your truth. O Lord, you are that fountain from which I desire with all my heart to drink. Give me, Lord Jesus, this water, that it may quench the burning spiritual thirst within my soul and purify me from all sin.

When Jesus encountered the woman at the well in John 4, he knew she was spiritually thirsty. He told her that anyone drinking water from the well where they met would become physically thirsty again, but “. . . those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be (spiritually) thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life” (John 4:14-15 NRSV).

Jesus promised that anyone who was spiritually thirsty could quench their thirst by coming to him. The person searching for genuine peace and joy in life need only turn to him. To the person who, like Columbanus, yearned to be cleansed from the stain of sin, Jesus said, “Come to me.”

And Jesus’ offer still stands today. Kristyn Getty penned a short hymn that celebrates this gift of spiritual “thirst quenching,” this gift of a new life by God’s grace that anyone can know. 

What grace is mine that He who dwells in endless light
Called through the night to find my distant soul,
And from His scars poured mercy that would plead for me,
That I might live and in His name be known.

What profound images: the almighty, eternal, Creator who seeks out a “distant soul;” scars that pour mercy, the mercy of Jesus that delivers us from spiritual bondage and spiritual thirst. And as that thirst is quenched, we discover that the very breath of God – the Spirit of God – fills us and refreshes us and assures us of our eternal hope. 

What grace is mine to know His breath alive in me;
Beneath His wings my wakened soul may soar;
All fear can flee, for death’s dark night is overcome;
My Savior lives and reigns forevermore.

In “drinking” at the “fountain” of God’s grace, the sinner finds new life and the weary Christian finds fresh strength and hope for the journey of life. This is because the “water” we receive is the Lord Himself.  He is both the giver of grace and the Gift itself.  And, as Columbanus prayed, God’s presence within us is both our greatest need and our greatest blessing.

I know, King of glory, that I am asking from you a great gift. But you give to your faithful people without counting the cost, and you promise even greater things in the future.  Indeed, nothing is greater than yourself, and you have given yourself to humankind on the cross. Therefore, in praying for the waters of life, I am praying that you, the source of those waters, will give yourself to me.  You are my light, my salvation, my food, my drink, my God.

So, I will go wherever He is calling me
I lose my life to find my life in Him.
I give my all to gain the hope that never dies;
I bow my heart, take up my cross, and follow Him.

Enjoy this performance of the hymn by Kristyn Getty.

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Music from SmallChurchMusic.com.

Rusty Rabon

Rusty Rabon has served in vocational Christian ministry in local churches since 1981. He also served as a Christian radio announcer for 15 years. He married his wife Terri in 1978 and they have 3 grown children and 6 grandchildren. You can find books by Rusty Rabon here.

Rusty also hosts a book reading program called READING GREAT BOOKS on his Facebook page. You can follow Rusty at www.rustyrabon.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.

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