In An Ordinary Coffee Shop
Marybeth Whalen

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." Matthew 5:6 (NIV)

I sat down with my cup of green tea and breathed a sigh of relief. My kids were occupied for the morning and I was looking forward to the brief respite that I had coming. Three hours of quiet—no one asking me for anything, no one fighting, no one complaining. Just some good old-fashioned peace and quiet. I planned to make good use of my time by making an appointment to meet with God. But could I trust Him to show up?

I had originally planned to use this rare time alone to "get things done." I had even made a list of all that I hoped to accomplish. But after frustration with my kids, angry words exchanged with my husband, and a nagging feeling that something just wasn't right, I felt God whisper to my heart: Put away that list and spend some time with Me. I knew that was exactly what I should do.

The coffee shop was far from quiet. Loud jazz music played on the speakers and the voices of patrons and machines intruded on my thoughts at first. Could God speak over all the noise? I pulled out my journal and began to write how I felt, what was on my mind, and asked God to speak to me in the midst of this most ordinary of places.

I wrote down that I felt dry, barren, like my soul was cracking from lack of refreshment from Him. I confessed that I had not made time for Him like I should and that my soul felt the gap that had formed. And then I wrote "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening…" and I waited for Him to do just that.

I turned the page of my journal to find Psalm 107:9 written at the bottom of the next page: "For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things." Astonished, I found the verse in my Bible and began to cross reference the word "thirsty." I had come thirsty. I had come dehydrated. I needed Him to water my soul.

And He did. Frantically I scribbled what He was speaking through His Word. Again and again that morning I was astonished and amazed by what His Word had to say—the many promises of what He would do for those of us who come thirsty. Two hours later, I closed my Bible and journal with a big smile on my face and a full tank of the joy that can only come from spending time with Abba. Like Moses stumbling upon a burning bush in an ordinary desert, I had had an encounter with the Living God in the midst of a most ordinary place.

Do you need Him to meet with you today? Are you wondering if He will keep the appointment? I can promise you that there was nothing special about the way I approached Him. I didn't have a magic formula or extra special direct line to Him. I simply came to Him thirsty—parched and desperate for His living water. I opened up my heart and my life to Him and then I listened to what He had to say. It was that simple and that complex all at the same time. I am grateful that I put away my to-do list, cleared my calendar for that morning and kept the appointment I had made. God showed up and changed my life all over again. All in an ordinary coffee shop.

Dear Lord, thank You for being the God Who Is Near. Thank You for meeting with me wherever and whenever I seek You. Thank You for Your word, which speaks to me, reminding me of Your promises and refilling my soul. I need Your living water, Lord. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Journey to the Well by Diana Wallis Taylor

Come Thirsty: No Heart Too Dry for His Touch by Max Lucado

Visit Marybeth’s blog

For the Write Reason General Editor Marybeth Whalen

Application Steps:
Do you need to schedule a time to meet with God? The next time you find yourself with some time alone, consider resisting the urge to get things done but instead find a spot to get away with God. See what He does with that time and prepare to be amazed.

How can you get creative with your time to make some for Him? Is there a to-do list you need to put aside?

Power Verses:
Psalm 63:1, "O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." (NIV)

Psalm 107:35, "He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs." (NIV)

© 2010 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.

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Blogger joyceoye said...

this message just captured my feelings today, i had just written an almost similar plea in my journal and He led me to His word, my conclusion was 'What A Father"
thank you for blessing me so much today

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do I find time??? I'm so frustrated with all the interruptions during my day. I'm exhausted at night and I can't roll out of bed in the morning withoug waking the baby (who sleeps with us). How do you others do it? The KG boys will probably be late, just becasue I took time to read this. Pray for my struggle. I'm so thirsty too.

Anonymous Jen said...

I feel parched too and i feel like this message was directed at me. i just want to go back to the way it was when i first met the Lord. Thank you for writing this, i am reminded that God is near.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hope i can find god today i really need him. thank you for your devotion.

Anonymous Linda said...

The comments about finding timem amidst abeing tired and interruptions totally reflect my feelings. With two under two-both boys, and at the moment both of them are not feeling well (and neither am I) it's like what time?

I do try to read a few verses each day and try to pray before rising out of bed but is is HARD. If I had 3 hours in a coffee shop I would take it but that is not my world.

HOWEVER, I have learned that I have to take whatever moment I have-even if it is just a prayer breathed while I do dishes or just a minute of prayer before rolling out of bed to get the baby. I believe that even those prayers are heard and welcomed by our gracious Father who understands about motherhood and having a day that is full of interruptions. Anyway, thanks for the devotional but ladies who are moms don't feel discouraged b/c you don't have several hours of devotions-very few have that kind of time. Just take the time you can get. The days of motherhood are busy but even in the midst of the busyness God is there:) Have a good day everyone!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous.......
I'm exhausted when I get up at 4:30am for work and the same when I get home. My Bible is on the nite stand right beside my bed ALWAYS OPEN. How to you find time? Two verses of the Bible probably takes less than one to two minutes to read and meditate on and I promise can change your day, if not your life. I'm having some trouble with a 20 y/o son and today God told me in His word, If we pray for a mountain to me moved and we believe that thru God it can, it WILL be done! God is going to move my son, I know it because He told me so and I believe it. This took less than two minutes of my morning. Stop making excuses. Change your life and look into your Bible for TWO MINUTES a day. You won't be thirsty anymore ! I promise (HE PROMISES) YOU !

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The enemy is keeping you all from quenching your thirst! DONT LET him DO IT ! Rebuke satan and read! You don't have to read for hours! Pray befor you open your Bible but just OPEN IT ! Read one verse with faith in you heart and I promise you it will fill you up and encourage you to either read on or read just a bit again later. Just to it !

Blogger Cindy said...

Maribeth, this came at a time that I really needed it. Thanks. Guess I need to make that appt.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree with the writer who says we must fight satan on this. He wants us to believe the lie that we don't have time. We must make the time. If you have only 2 minutes that is enough. God is there. I have been there with 4 children under 5. It is rough, just don't give up. Hang in there. Plus there are tapes and cds of God's Word. Listen while you are doing dishes or making beds. Hope you are able to take advantage of these tools. God bless you all.

Anonymous Girl...Hush! said...

Thanks for being so real with us! I love that even if we pick a noisy coffee shop to meet with won't stop him from speaking!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for todays devotional, it was just what I needed. For days I have been feeling drained, almost empty.. I knew I needed more of God but I wasn't sure what I needed to do..

Anonymous denise said...

Thank you for this devotional. My pastor preached just last week on "got water". This devotional reminded me of what i heard. I am a mom of 4 and i go to school full time. I find myself getting so caught up with responsibilities and with life that many times I forget God is near and ready to help me. Im thirsty for you God, please come once again and fill me with your living water.

Anonymous Margie said...

Would you believe that I was just writing the same thing in my journal. "Speak to me Please! your servant in listening"... and our God is so good... He bought me here. Thank you again P31 ladies God Bless your ministry

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the reminder....This morning, I too turned the page on my journal and "heard" God speak from a Scripture verse listed there:

"Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Col.3:12 NIV

I had just read about inner beauty...He gave His directions on how to obtain it with that verse.

God is faithful!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yesterday I wrote these six words (and only these six words) down in my journal: "I hunger and thirst for righteousness". I couldn't remember the rest of the verse and I was glad and thankful to see it this morning when I opened my daily devotion. After spending time reading God's word yesterday, I felt this hunger and thirst for righteousness (I usually find myself longing to be in the presence of someone whom I think is or was a righteous person). I didn't want to stop reading the bible or writing in my journal, but I had to start dinner before my younger son woke up from his nap and before I had to go pick up my older son from school. I guess that was God nudging me to spend a little longer with Him. I have found that He always provides the time I need to finish my to do list as long as I make the time for Him first. It surely was more than coincidence that the key verse today was the one I partially wrote down in my journal yesterday. Thank you for the devotion.

Blogger Esther said...

Thank you so much for this devotional today. It was EXACTLY what I needed. Thank you for letting God speak to me through you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure where to post this but I wanted to ask if anyone has heard of National Clicks?

Can someone help me find it?

Overheard some co-workers talking about it all week but didn't have time to ask so I thought I would post it here to see if someone could help me out.

Seems to be getting alot of buzz right now.


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