I took this picture while I was at Petra. It was hot, sooo hot, and there were camels everywhere giving people rides out of the canyon. I was so thirsty that I bet I drank 5 galloons of water on the trip. I was watching some of our people get on board a camel when one of them pulled a water bottle out and proceeded to try and give one of the camels a drink. She didn’t need to try very hard. The camel snatched the water bottle from her hand and…well, you can see the results. The whole incident reminded me of a story.
I heard a story one time about a young guy who wanted to know Jesus in an intimate way. He had gone to church for years, but never really felt “close” to the Lord. He listened to others talk about the strength they gained from their “walk” with the Lord and he wondered why they seemed to be able to talk about Jesus like He was their best friend instead of a stained-glass saint? The young man heard about an old guy who lived down by the river who was a spiritual giant. Many people around the city had met with the old man and all had come away blown away by his insight from God’s Word. The young man decided that he would go and visit the man.
The young man followed the directions to the man’s house down by the river. When he arrived he saw what looked more like an old shed instead of a house. He knocked on the door and the old man answered. He had long gray hair and a big smile. The young man introduced himself and asked if he could talk to him about Jesus. The man swung his arm wide and said, “Come on in.” They talked for a few minutes and then the young man said, “I want to know Jesus as my best friend, but I don’t know what to do?” The old man smiled and said, “Follow me.”
They walked out the front door of the man’s house and down to the river. The old man walked straight into the river…fully clothed. He turned around and the young man was still on the bank of the river. He said, “Come on in. Come on. Come on.” The young man, hesitatingly stepped into the river and approached the old man. He walked within an arms reach of the old man when the old man said, “Do you really want to know Jesus?” The kid said, “I do.” The old man grabbed him with both hands and plunged his head under water. He held him until the young man began to struggle to come up for air, but he couldn’t. Age is deceiving–the old man was Samson strong. Finally, while the kid was fighting like crazy to come up the old man released him. Gasping for air he yelled, “What are you doing?” The old man said, “You told me you wanted to know Jesus–to really know Jesus.” The kid yelled, gasping for air, “What does that have to do with you nearly drowning me?” The man said, “How bad did you want a breath of air while I was holding you under the water?” The kid said, “More than anything. I thought I was going to drown.” The old man said, “When you want to know Jesus like you wanted that breath of air, only then will you know Jesus as your best friend.” He turned around, walked out of the river, and went home, leaving the kid standing in the river.
How bad do you want to know Jesus? I’m not talking about a Sunday morning kind of faith. I’m talking about really knowing Jesus, walking with Him, consulting Him about everything, crying on His shoulder when life is tough, thanking Him for everything that comes your way. How thirsty are you for that kind of relationship with the Savior?