©Joy Dunlap  https://joydunlap.com

Thirsty for something more?  Experiencing dehydration?

Amid the chaotic busyness of careers, relationships and activities, we can, if we’re not careful, find ourselves drained and without energy – even spiritually dehydrated.

Several years ago, I had a few hours after the conclusion of a business conference so I headed to a city-wide festival. Farther than I originally thought, the jaunt to get there took longer.

The subway took me part of the way, but with poor directions in an unknown city (and without a smart phone), I walked block after block after block before I arrived. Sweating under sweltering heat and bright sunshine, my body cried out for water, but the refreshment booth had too many people in the line. I kept going.

I didn’t want to waste my limited, event-experience time standing in line for water.

The next booth had just refilled their water supply so the bottles were warm. I only wanted water if it was how I desired it – cold.  I kept going.

Soon I got caught up in the performances and displays – the music, the action, the excitement.  I didn’t want to miss anything by going to get water.

My throat felt tight and scratchy; my head was pounding.  Pushing myself to find water, I once again found too many people in line.  Too much time, I thought.

At this point, I didn’t want to give in because I had already made it this far without it.

Feeling dizzy after covering several miles over many hours in scorching temperatures, I finally bought a bottle of water.  Just one bottle.

What was I thinking?

The cost was too much?  Inconvenient to carry? One fast fill-up would be the fix?

Trudging back to my hotel, I showered and got ready to meet a good friend and her husband for dinner. After arriving at the restaurant, I got nauseous and sick, ruining the evening.

Spiritual dehydration can cause us to get sick too.  Anger, jealousy and arrogance can spew out.

What are some signs of spiritual dehydration?

  • An aching thirst for more meaning in life
  • Confusion and doubt about belief
  • Sense of spinning out of control
  • Inability to stand steady
  • Rising anger levels
  • A lack of compassion
  • Profuse “sweating” and worry over situations
  • Avoiding opportunities for God to refill through prayer, Bible study, praise, worship
  • Sickness revealing itself through envy, greed, deceit, malice, rage, immorality, unforgiveness and other poor choices made outside God’s design

Opportunity after opportunity to refresh and rehydrate are available to us, yet often we choose to walk on.  Our hearts and minds – our very souls – become desperate for refreshment, renewed vitality and a rejuvenated sense of meaning and purpose.

We convince ourselves that quality time connecting with God will cost more time than we want to give.  ‘Will it really make a difference at this point?’ some may even wonder.

Like my one-bottle, water effort, we may attempt a quick fix by occasionally attending a church service, listening to a preacher’s podcast or watching a TV worship service. A 30-second devotion or “positive living” reading in the morning acts as our spiritual shot for the day.  Those actions – whenever we do them – are good.  But…

Continuous spiritual rehydration happens when we’re connected and communicating with God consistently. Frequent prayer, praise and meditating on His Word help us stay filled up.

More than 2000 years ago, Jesus attended a festival where he knew people were thirsty not just for water but for refreshment in their souls.  So are we today.

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”  John 7:37-38 NIV

What festival did you attend that remains a favorite?
When was a time when you felt rehydrated and refreshed by God?
What three actions can you take this month to help you find refreshment in life and in your walk with the Lord?

Life Is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full!

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