Thirst Day – Dehydration
Water helps our bodies in many ways. No surprise that when we are low on water we are dehydrated. Signs of dehydration include irritability, sleepiness, headaches, decrease in output and, of course, thirst. With severe dehydration the skin shrivels and shrinks. In worst case scenarios there can be blindness and death. Interestingly, spiritual dehydration can also lead to irritability, sleepiness (Prov. 26:14) pain, deep dryness (Ez. 37:2), thirst (Ps. 107:5), our spirits shriveling and shrinking, spiritual blindness and death.
I suppose that this was a dry season that I did not anticipate as I walked through the valley of the shadow. Although I feel close to the Lord in some ways, and I know that He loves and cares for me, I have not always been aware of His presence. Water quenches our thirst. But I am waking up to the idea that sometimes we thirst for different things. We can thirst for righteousness, or we can thirst for companionship when we feel lonely. Sometimes our thirst is good — like a thirst for knowledge. This helps us understand how Jesus is the Living Water. He is the Living Water because He can quench any thirst. He can fill us.
As I reflect further I realize that I was thirsting for companionship but was perhaps actually rejecting God’s offer to quench that thirst on the journey because He wasn’t Jim. I have been focusing on getting through each day without my partner (and while I really need to keep doing that), but it is different when my focus is not doing the whole God-thing on my own. We were made for community! I know that I can come across like I have processed and shelved things, but that is only to spare others from judgment or pitying me, etc. The beauty of God is that not only is He a spiritual companion, but He is the creator of companionship itself. So the only way to stay hydrated on this journey is to allow the Living Water to quench my thirst and intervene in this very sad and lonely part of my life. When I give God the room He deserves, my soul will be refreshed and my heart will flow with His presence. Before I was meant to be one with Jim I was created for the partnership of God. I was created to do life hand-in-hand with the One who created me in His image.
I think about Ps. 42 and the reality that God knows there are dry times in life when He knows I won’t desire Him and that I will want to give up or fill my life with something full of “artificial sweeteners”. There is no guarantee that I won’t ever be dehydrated (again) and I will experience suffering. Being spiritually dehydrated is exhausting, discouraging and experiencing separation from the source of living water of Christ. When I look at the song of the psalmist, I see a rehydration solution in verse 8:
- First, remind myself of God’s persistent love that is faithful and never changing.
- Second, to sing & light the candle of praise (especially in the dark of the night).
- And third, to pray, calling out to God with honesty, expecting Him to listen and care. Prayer is spiritual dehydration’s biggest enemy. When I really really discover the importance of prayer, I am reminded that it not only replenishes the soul, but it keeps me in tune with the current condition of my heart and mind.
1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.
5 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and
6 My God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon–from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
8 By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me– a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
11 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Disappointments arrive at our door; harsh winds blow; relationships dry up–and suddenly we realize we’re dehydrated. Last month’s drink didn’t last. Our spirit needs nourishment daily.
Some wandered in the wilderness, lost and homeless; Hungry and thirsty, they nearly died. “LORD, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he rescued them from their distress. He led them straight to safety, to a city where they could live. Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for all his wonderful deeds to them. For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things (Psalm 107:4-9), NLT.
I am reminded that a life of faith is a dance between victory and defeat, with ups and downs, and that until I am fully redeemed I will continue to have seasons of the soul. There will be a day when I will thirst no more (Rev. 21:4) but for now I place my hopes in the only thing that satisfies, taking baby steps and keep going through the grace of the Living water!