David Brainerd

“. . . If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.”

— John 7:37

Have you ever felt intensely thirsty, so thirsty you thought you could drink a river dry? That’s the same kind of thirst we should cultivate for God. We have a great example of someone who had such a thirst: David Brainerd, an eighteenth-century missionary to American Indians.

As a young lad, Brainerd’s soul was parched; he thirsted for the living God. He abandoned all of his sinful ways to pursue a religious life. He prayed, went to church, and read the Bible. But despite his pure lifestyle, he still found no peace with God. One day, he reread a text he remembered from his childhood: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” Brainerd drank deeply from that stream of the living water, Jesus Christ, and he was quenched. As he discovered the source of the living water, he realized that multitudes of people had the same thirst he once had, and he wanted to share with them the source he had found. Brainerd thought of all the Indians in the forests of New England and knew that they must hear the Good News of Christ. So he became a missionary to them.

By the end of his ministry, David Brainerd had converted only a few hundred Indians, but perhaps his greatest ministry was the intensity of his own devotion to Christ. His love for Christ burned like a brilliant flame in the night sky, attracting others to Him and animating their lives. Brainerd began early in life to keep a journal, and the revelation of his heart, soul, and mind has transformed the lives of most people who have read it. In fact, that journal inspired many people to become missionaries, to share the living waters with others.

Today and every day, seek to quench your spiritual thirst in Jesus Christ. Spend time with Him in prayer and in His Word. Then share the Good News with others so that they might never thirst again.

“I care not where I live, or what hardships I go through,
so that I can but gain souls to Christ.”
David Brainerd