LocalLit book review: a guidebook for the spiritually thirsty

Channahon author shares personal experiences, scripture interpretations to help people deepen their relationship with God

This past weekend, I read “To the Thirsty” by Channahon author Kim Patterson.

Patterson’s book is part memoir, part guidebook and part devotional, along with some discussion questions.

Before I offer my comments, I’ll share the book’s Amazon description: “’To the Thirsty’ is an invitation to begin the process of going deeper with God to discover the faith and spiritual journey He desires for you to take.

“This journey begins as you respond to that invitation and pursue God with an unquenchable hunger and thirst. Come to the well like the Samaritan woman and encounter Jesus.”

So I’m going to digress a moment.

I have a read a lot of similar books through the years. One of my absolute favorites was a tiny little book of spiritual truths written by Laurel Lee, whose first book I read in high school – and then went on to read her other books in my early 20s when I, too, was going through some similar struggles.

I can’t find Lee’s little book of spiritual truths anywhere. But I remember one line that has stuck with me through the years. She mentions how the crumbs of our present day trials will become the spiritual bread God will use to feed the masses tomorrow. The fact her words resonated so well with me absolutely proved her point.

Now back to Patterson’s book.

While I won’t say I never gain a fresh perspective from books like Patterson’s – because I always do – Patterson touched on the main roadblock to a deeper relationship with God in such a commonsense way that it changed my perspective of her entire book.

And that main point is going to stick to me for the rest of my life just like that line of Lee’s did.

Consider for a moment the term “idol” as anything that replaces God in our lives. Patterson wrote: “For a lot of us, this idol can be money, control, our career, spouse, or even our children. But the most common idol that sits on the throne of hearts is ourselves, and we don’t even realize it.”

Just let that sink in for a moment.

Unfortunately, Patterson doesn’t open her book with that thought. But it was the best “aha!” moment when I came to it.

The rest of Patterson’s book falls right into line once this precept is understood. Using the imagery of a well (and a great illustration of a well, worthy of the whimsical drawings in Lee’s first book), Patterson structures her book in layers: Layer One: Positioning Our Hearts and Dying to Self, Layer Two: Building a Firm Foundation and Receiving the Full Measure, Layer Three: Awakening to Authority and Releasing His Power and Layer Four: Carrying His Glory and Operating Under an Open Heaven.

Obviously, every reader of every denomination will not agree with every interpretation Patterson sets forth.

But I’m certain any reader who wants to draw closer to the “living water” will find something here to help quench his or her thirst.

Buy “To the Thirsty” on Amazon.

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