“Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion.
“I am 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
I remember listening to David Suchet (Lamplighter Radio Theatre’s voice of Aslan) majestically, dangerously roaring that main line, voice swelling as he went: “I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, KINGS AND EMPERORS, CITIES AND REALMSSSSS.” As a young child, I would ask myself the Lion’s first question: “Are you not thirsty?” Would I, in Jill’s place, have been thirsty enough to drink? Trusting enough? Courageous enough? I wasn’t sure.
Thirst & Hunger
Why do we lack audacious living, especially audacious Christianity, in our culture? We first need to recognize the lack in our souls. What are we looking for? Are we thirsty enough to look for it with passion? High on the Narnian cliff before her choice to venture off and follow Aslan’s direction, Jill won’t be able to avoid the water forever–the only question is how long it will take for her to come. There’s a longing in her soul, just as there is in ours, for the Living Water, but is it strong enough?
Many of us have seasons of searching for “more” but not being thirsty enough to take the next step. In our freshman and sophomore years of high school especially, we’re so often told to wait for opportunities to come to us instead of seeking them out. While there’s benefit in waiting on the Lord and growing in the quiet seasons of life, there’s never a time when we’re too young to take a chance and make a difference–if we’re thirsty enough, if we yield to the fire God has placed in our souls. As Halle loves to remind me, “You will NEVER be in a situation, place, or time where God doesn’t want to use you. No matter how old you are. Where you are. If you’re waking up at 2 AM and everyone is asleep. If you’re at school. If you’re on a walk in your neighborhood. If you’re driving to work. If you’re two or if you’re eighty, you’ll never be in a place where God can’t use you.”
Personally, the most stagnant, frustrating times in my life came when I was waiting for opportunity to fall in my lap. It’s been a process, but I’m slowly learning to reach for goals, to seek until the thirst is gone. But that takes trust.
We don’t perform a faith fall without a strong friend to catch us when we tip. We don’t step into a risk without knowing that even if it doesn’t pan out, we’re going to be okay (usually). We don’t come to the water without trusting the Lion.
And we can trust the Lion of Judah, the Living Water for our souls. As children of God, we live each day with unlimited resources. We have the freedom to pursue wild dreams and take crazy risks, and we have the freedom to fail. We have nothing to lose, because succeed or fail with these daring risks, we are ultimately heirs of the King, and nothing can take that inheritance away from us.
A dear friend of mine reminded me the other night of these truths that apply to us as heirs of the king:
- Heirs don’t need to live in guilt or shame. They already know their worth, and what they have done does not change who they are. God is the one responsible for their identity.
- Heirs don’t need to compose themselves or check their appearance. They are free to be helpless, free to be needy, free to be a mess. They are free to be excited and to be foolish. The Father is right here, and He isn’t afraid of his kid’s mess or of his kid’s joy.
- Heirs do not need to be afraid. They’re free to trust that what he says is true, they are free to ask, they are free to speak, they are free to throw their arms up in that two-year-old fashion and say that they just want to be held by their Father.
So what’s this whole deal with Christians consistently feeling like they aren’t courageous enough? Let’s explore that a little bit. Courage is a combination of knowing what is right, and being determined to do that thing despite the costs that might come from it. But in our modern world, there are a whole lot of things that have become standard and discourage us of this kind of courage.
Think about how permanent mistakes and wrongdoings become with the introduction of the internet. Digital distance causes false boldness that we’d never have face to face. One person steps out against the accepted stance on a topic with a quick tweet, and not even hours later they’ve been shamed by millions of people who would never consider using the kind of language they do in a personal setting. We title people in a way that ostracizes them from receiving any kind of grace. And if you stand up for these people receiving such shame, you suddenly become a co-conspirator in their wrongdoing. So how can we take action and be courageous in our daily life?
The primary culprit in removing courage from our lives is fear. But here’s the deal– as sons and daughters made in the image of our wild Abba God, we are designed to be bursting full of courage and thirst and trust in our lives. So when you let your life and choices be consumed by fear of being too much or being too brave; I have one question for you. Who told you to simmer down? Was it God? Because his voice is the only thing that matters. Big secret reveal time: the amount of fear we have in our lives is directly related to what amount of your life you believe is up to you.
Jill is terrified of this Lion swallowing her whole just like he has done with so many. The moment she steps to the stream for a drink, she is surrendering every bit of control in her life — but would she have it any other way? Take the risk and reach for the prize, but not just any prize — we’re promised a high calling in Christ Jesus.
Let us know your thoughts on this thirsting after Jesus. We’re excited to explore more with you.
— Raelen Jade & Halle Judea
P.S. If you’ve ever read a clay article and had a bit of deep insight into the subject discussed, we’d love to hear about it! In the future, we may be featuring and responding to well thought-out comments, agreements, and even rebuttals to articles. Share your thoughts in the comments or send us an email at TCPeditor@pottersschool.org. We can’t wait to hear from you!