June 12, 2012

Stay Hydrated!

God graciously dries up our wells so He alone can satisfy our deepest desires. ~Lauren Chandler
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God... ~Psalm 42:1&2
The worst day of my P.E. education (which thankfully is no more) occurred in the 8th grade. It brought with it a whole new perspective on relay races: hatred. By the time I was finished with the tortuous game I was in physical torment. I ran straight for the girls bathroom, hurled, and then nearly passed out trying to make it to the nurse's office (which meant climbing two stories of stairs to get there... not at all helpful). I know, great story, huh?

Heat exhaustion occurs when your body gets overheated due to dehydration or salt depletion, often from being outside in the heat for a long period of time. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, fainting, rapid heartbeat, and a whole slew of things that I'm not comfortable listing here and am incredibly happy I didn't experience on that awful day. 70% of our body is made up of water. A person cannot survive 36 hours without water. And the longer a person goes without it, the more disoriented, sluggish, and drained they become. Water is vital for our survival as humans physically. The same is true for the desert seasons we walk through spiritually. We need Living Water to survive. 

Symptoms of spiritual dehydration include...
  • Making irrational choices and decisions on a whim
  • Fears, worries, and anxieties grow monumentally
  • Easily irritated in our relationships with others, and/or grow discontent or jealous of others
  • Truth and wisdom becomes muddled, which leads to an inability to think clearly
  • Ultra ugly meltdowns (You know, the ones that get you in the fetal position and you cry for hours? Yeah... those are *awesome*.)
  • Searching for water in dried up wells (i.e. looking to idols to fill our "thirst")
The remedy for spiritual dehydration? To drink of Living Water... to drink our fill of Christ. He alone is what quenches our thirst. In the gospel of John, Jesus referrers to Himself as Living Water. He beckons us "'If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink" (John 7:37), for "'whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again." (John 4:14). I love how John Piper explains what "soul drinking" is:
We say sometimes as we stand before some scene of beauty that we are drinking it in; or changing the metaphor slightly, we say our eyes are feasting on it. What do we mean? We mean that we have put ourselves in a position to behold the beauty... In that way we drink in the scene. So it is with Jesus. We first put ourselves in a position to behold him clearly. Since he is not here this is always done through his Word... ~From Rivers from The Heart (Emphasis Added)
Drinking from His Word. I'm not one to make a ton of "rules" about "quiet time" (i.e. have to read it at this time of day, at this specific spot, for this length time). For the record let's just call it our time with the Lord. For me, quiet time has always been nap time, not conversing with the Creator. Just pick the place that you can focus the best and set enough time aside in order to absorb or take in what you're reading. It's going to be different for everyone so there's no need to turn this into a competition (just another dumb thing I hear and see other Christians do). Grab your Bible and chug His Word...
  • Pray. Ask God to lay on your heart what He wants to show you in His Word.
  • Read and Observe. Pick a reading plan or a book of the Bible to go through (or specific passages the Lord is speaking to you). While reading the passage take note (mental or literal, since I know some of you are not into journals) or highlight what sticks out. Maybe even write out a specific verse(s) that caught your attention.
  • Apply. This is what I like to call the heart examination or "checkup." I ask myself questions in relation to the passage. Questions like... What does this passage say about God? Which of God's attributes (i.e. His goodness, steadfastness, love, etc.) are present here? How does this passage point to Jesus? What does this passage say about me? How does this apply to my relationship with the Lord? How does this apply to my relationships with others? What is God asking of me here? What sins to I need to confess? What requests do I need to make? What has God promised to me? How can I practically implement this in my life and relationships right now (and in the future)?
  • Pray (Again). This is where I pour out my heart, present my requests, give thanksgiving and praise, and asking God to hide His Word in my heart.
Believe me when I say you don't want to experience heat exhaustion physically, nor in the desert seasons due to dehydration. Actively engaging in God's Word is vital, I know it's tempting to let that be pushed to the back burner, but you're going to need Living Water in order to make it through.

Christ revealed in His Word is the cool stream flowing in the desert. When we drink from it, our souls remain spiritually hydrated, sustaining us in the wilderness. 

7 comments :

  1. so excited about this series natalie! and what a terrible experience in 8th grade! you poor thing!

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  2. ohhh this is good! and so true. it's funny how in seasons where we feel God is absent we run to everything but God... when He calls us to Him. i just LOVE how He wants to fill us up. how He wants to take our pain or frustrations on Himself.. amazing. just having a moment here.

    also, natalie, i love how you link to all kinds of resources and use quotes and stuff. it really feeds my english-major/loving side haha!

    great post!

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  3. I go through that routine too! I am spiritually thirsty a lot, and the more I am in the word, the calmer I tend to be.

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  4. 1st, that story was hilarious. I loved PE and loved all things racing. :)

    2nd, I completely agree with you on all these points. Its so important to not get spiritually dry. The times I do when I stop praying or reading the word, its torture until I get myself back into it.

    The feelings are night and day, I don't understand why I ever let myself stop praying and reading.
    Emily at Amazing Grapes

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  5. You always come up with amazing themes and images to tie it all together. Love this series!

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  6. what an awesome post & devotional! I love the lauren chandler quote at the beginning of the post.... love this, what a great reminder...thank you!

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