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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Intimacy

Some thoughts from last year…

How many times do we take our significant others for granted? We would never do so intentionally, but our busy lives just take over. Most of us are on auto-pilot, we get up, go to work and/or take care of our children all day, prepare dinner, put the kids to bed – by the end of the day, we just collapse and let our minds vegetate or move on to other projects. We all have our ways of doing this. Mine, is crashing on the couch with the tv on, computer in my lap and puppy on my feet. Even in my rest, I am multi-tasking and I would guess that many of you do this too. Most of us would say we are just too tired to read our bibles or study. We have worked long and hard and just need to rest, so life goes on, day by day – on auto-pilot just getting through it all.

My favourite days of the week are Sunday and Wednesday. These are days that I have commitments for church & bible study. These days fulfill the need and desire to worship the Lord. Times that I can slow down and concentrate on His character and learn more about how I should be changing… I often wonder about this. Why, if these are my favourite days, do I not study more at home, take more time to pause and worship the Lord?

As I am writing this, it is just past 11 and I have just given in to go to bed even though I should have been asleep hours ago. As I settle in, I touch my husband’s face and tell him that I love him. As he mumbles incoherently, I smile because I know that he is trying to return the sentiment. As I look at him, I see him – I mean really see him. This is the man that I fell in love with, the man that I want to live out the rest of my days with. I marvel at the rush of emotions that flood through me. All of those beautiful feelings from new love are stirring, but now, they are complimented with trust and familiarity. Remember the moment that you first realized you were in love with that someone special? Remember the pounding of your heart, the shortness of breath, the joy, excitement and fear. Those are the feelings that flowed through me, those and more. When you first fall in love, you wonder if your love will be returned and it can be terrifying. There is a guarding against forgetting how completely and totally in love that I am with this man and growing complacent in that love, guarding against letting life get in the way and taking him for granted.

As I lie here watching him sleep, I know that I love him even more than that first moment. We have grown together and a beautiful friendship born out of love, respect and trust as well as faith in the Most High God. God has bound us together and allowed us to understand love as He intended it – in a way that some people will never understand. There is no doubt in my mind that I would do anything for this man and he for me.

So how then could I need to be reminded of how I felt when I first laid eyes on him, during our first conversation, that first time that he held my hand? How could I need to be reminded of how much I love him and how much I know that he loves me?

As I lay contemplating this, I realized that this is the same thing I have been experiencing of late in my relationship with God. I love Him deeply, much more so than when I first met Him. But, I often don’t see Him clearly in my rush to get through every day. On Sunday’s and Wednesday’s I am undeniably confronted with the person of God. I am surrounded by worship and must stop all other business of life. It is in those moments that I see Him, really see Him for who He is, the Almighty God, the lover of my soul, my Father.

As I thought about this further, I came to the realization that the real issue with both my husband and my God was the loss of intimacy. Intimacy is defined as a close personal relationship, a quiet and private atmosphere and a detailed knowledge resulting from a close or long association or study. I was allowing the business of my life to prevent me from seeing both my husband and my God clearly. A very dangerous thing… I have taken them both for granted by rushing through the days and just letting life carry me. Don’t misunderstand me, that doesn’t mean that I don’t deeply love them, it means that the close relationship – the one where my husband and I can practically read one another’s minds – is often clouded over with other things/people – the business of life. The connection is not operating to its full potential. It is at times like these where misunderstandings can occur and potentially worse yet, we carry on with the ritual of life not realizing that anything is wrong.

So where did all of this come from? As I went to bed I was praying for God’s wisdom in a difficult situation – one in which I will have to think on my feet. Praying that when this situation came to a head, that the Lord would talk to me a bit faster than usual – and maybe louder too. I want to be sure that I am hearing Him loud and clear instead of opening my mouth and sticking my foot in by uttering words that would hinder His purpose. So He did speak to me immediately and quite loudly he said, “Intimacy. That is how you can be sure to hear from Me in perfect time and more clearly. As closely as you were thinking of seeing your husband more clearly, see Me more clearly. Walk closely with Me and I will always deliver you. Don’t grow complacent in your relationship with Me, take the time to see Me for who I am.”

That came in loud and clear… Many days I still fail to slow down and do this and I suffer the consequences. I now I understand the reason why and I know the solution.

I would love to hear your thoughts…  Leave me a comment below.

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