Dehydration

I recently was feeling not well.  Not really sick – but certainly not well.  For over two-weeks I suffered with severe headaches, bouts of dizziness and a myriad of other symptoms.  Try as I might, I was unable to figure out what was going on…  I would have times that I felt perfectly okay but my well-being was inconsistent to say the least.

Finally one evening as I was staring out at the snow and praying that my headache would just let up a little bit, the answer seeped into my mind.  I was dehydrated.  My initial reaction to the idea was that it was just too easy an answer.  As I thought back over the previous couple of weeks, the thought really took root in my mind so I decided to investigate the condition online.  What I found was that there are a few stages of dehydration – the final stage is where emergency medical attention should be sought.  I was right there – lacking only one or two of the symptoms.  Self-inflicted agony for the first few weeks of the New Year – nice…

desert

Dehydrated

In looking back, it didn’t take me very long to figure out how I got into the situation and what I needed to do to get myself back to health.  Since June, Tim and I have been eating better (mostly) and following the blood type diet.  I had restricted my Dr. Pepper intake to one a day and was attempting to drink juice and water instead.  Over Christmas vacation we allowed ourselves to relax the food restrictions and unfortunately, I went too far.  I fell back into drinking lots of Dr. Pepper and stopped drinking water, stopped eating so much fruit and started eating a bit more grains.  It was inevitable that everything would get a bit messed up in my body.

I read up on how to safely get rehydrated and began treating myself.  Within a couple of hours the headache & dizziness were gone and the other symptoms were dissipating.  The cure was as simple as the cause.

Now after a bit of time feeling normal again and I began to wonder…  Might dehydration have been what was the matter with me spiritually some time ago?  A time when no matter how hard I tried to hold my life together by myself, I just couldn’t.  My life could be described in one word during that time:  INCONSISTENT.  Actually, there are a number of other one word hits that I could use to describe my life back then – depressed, messy, disastrous, ugly, bitter, painful, RUINED – I could truly go on and on.

I have often thought about my former life and wondered how things could get so very messed up.  One day I would be relying on God for my help (or at least, I thought I was) and the next I was scratching and clawing my way – trying to make a life for myself on my own terms.  Looking back it almost seems as if I was trying to be a Christian but on my own terms.  My terms did not include taking in nourishment that would feed my soul the good things that it needed.   I was at church every time that the doors were open, even during revival after revival and I was a proud, in-your-face with God kind of Christian.  BUT, all of the praise and the words of the preacher’s would wash away before I got home and I was left alone in my messed up life.  I didn’t bother opening that bible on my own, that wasn’t a part of how I wanted Christianity to work.  I wanted to be spoon fed during church and never have to do any work myself…   At the same time, I was spiritually proud – self-righteous.

To stay hydrated physically, we must bring good and pure things into our bodies.  I was drinking lots of fluids – but Dr. Pepper is far from pure (as heavenly as I think it is).  So to stay hydrated spiritually we must bring good and pure things into our minds to be devoured and absorbed.  My time outside of church in that former life was spent watching television and spending time with people who I was allowing to influence me rather than the other way around, time spent focusing on what was wrong in my life instead of on the solution – God.

Just as Dr. Pepper (and other caffeinated drinks) has a dehydrating effect on our bodies, so do the things that are not good and pure for our spirits.  We may go to church and listen to an awesome sermon but spend the rest of our weeks bringing garbage into our minds and it will dehydrate the good that we brought in.

The Bible is the Word of the Living God, we should need no other reason to want to study and understand things for ourselves.  If you need more convincing (as I once did), the Bible tells us many times how important it is to read and study God’s word.  It tells us of the benefits that we will reap if we invest our time in bringing this good and pure thing into our minds.  1 Timothy 3:16-17 says ”All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  Mark 4:4 tells us that “man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God”.

If I didn’t read for myself some of the encouraging things that God had to say to ME, would it really sink into my brain and hydrate me as it is meant to?  I don’t believe that it will…  Here are a couple of scriptures that I am finding incredibly encouraging lately and I found them only by reading for myself.

  • Proverbs 24:3-4 “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; 4 through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”
  • Isaiah 40:31 “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
  • 1 Peter 1:6-7 “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
  • Malachi 3:3 “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.”

I could go on and on with scriptures that encourage the heart – but that isn’t the point here.  The point is how many of us go around spiritually dehydrated?  We take a couple of days off spending time with God and little by little, we are drying up.  We don’t even realize it until suddenly we are in the midst of a mess and we are trying to figure out how we got there.

Here are the symptoms that I was experiencing when I was physically dehydrated:

  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Confusion
  • Sluggish

I can see when looking back to that time long ago in that former life that I had many of the same symptoms – only these symptoms were spiritual and they were affecting me more deeply.  I was weak in my walk with Christ, with every blow that the world offered I would become dizzy and almost fall, my heart was in a continual state of spiritual palpitations, I was confused on every side and I was certainly sluggish.

Just as my physical dehydration almost got me into trouble – the spiritual dehydration led me down a dangerous road that I didn’t even know I was on.  This road led me to falling away from my God when I needed Him most.  When the world offered one blow too many I decided that god didn’t care anything about me if He would allow such things to happen.  I walked away from Him and spent a number of years in a life that was utterly devastated.

I am so thankful for a God that pursued me, who didn’t forget me when I arrogantly swore Him off and everyone who was associated with Him.  It took years, but one day I woke up and realized the state that I was in and when I called out to God, He answered.  I lived too long even after this in a state of spiritual dehydration but as He so often does when we are willing, God took my hand and began to teach me and show me how a healthy relationship should be working.

Bible

Image via Wikipedia

Take a look at your life.  Are you perhaps spiritually dehydrated?  If so, the cure is as simple as the cause…  Take a look into the good book and find out what God has to say to YOU today.

I would love to hear your thoughts…  Something that you have to say might help me or someone else on their walk to healing, please leave a comment below if you are comfortable in doing so…  If you would like to contact me directly/privately, you may do so by emailing me at krislukings [at] gmail [dot] com or through Facebook using the link to the right.  Any personal messages that I receive will be kept in the strictest of confidence.

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