How does one become so sick—so dehydrated—when one doesn’t even feel thirsty? I found out and learned something beyond body needs in the recovery process.
After several days in the desert place, enjoying the company of good friends, eating great food, and hiking at a time when cactus are blooming everywhere, I felt great. And then, in the middle of the night, my body starting revolting. When I had nothing left in my gut, the dry heaves began and continued. And I couldn’t keep even a few sips of water.
By early morning, I was unable to stand unassisted. My dear husband drove me to urgent care, got a wheelchair, rolled me in, and got me hoisted up on an examining table. Nurses promptly went to work.
First, an anti-nausea medication put under my tongue took longer than normal to dissolve due to no mouth moisture. Next, they tried to get an IV started in my normally small veins shrunken further with dehydration. They scrambled for the smallest equipment possible. I heard them expressing frustration, in a caring way, and then I heard one of them saying, “I can’t get it out.” I don’t know what happened but I know my squirting vein made a big, bloody mess. Good thing I was too sick to look or care. I just lay there letting them do whatever they thought best, completely at their mercy and beyond thankful to be in the care of knowledgeable professionals. After the IV started successfully, I got a shot of pain killer in my hip to cure my throbbing head.
Welcome to the desert place.
I learned some lessons the hard way. First, our bodies don’t always tell us what we need when we need it. I hadn’t felt thirsty. I thought I was drinking enough water and taking care of myself properly. I was feeling quite well. Second, one can get dangerously sick, fast and furious, to the point where one is at the mercy of outside help. Independence is no longer an option. I needed help to get from bed to car to wheelchair to table. I needed help to recover my health. Without assistance, I could have died. I needed a rescue.
How often do we go about our lives, not recognizing that we are spiritual creatures, first and foremost, in need of constant nourishment? How often do we go about our days, independently doing our own thing, not recognizing that our souls are withering from dehydration until we become so—very—sick? How often do we turn to God only when we become desperate instead of realizing that He is our Living Water from whom we must draw daily for sound mind, body, and soul?
Please! Let’s not wait till we’re at death’s door to ask for living water! By faith, let’s recognize our need for constant replenishing from the One who offers to satisfy our deepest soul thirst. He’s offering a ladle of cool refreshment. And it’s free for the taking.
This is what the LORD says:
“In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill. They will neither hunger nor thirst nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water. Isaiah 49:8-10
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” John 7:37-38
Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. Revelation 22:17
And I say in response . . .
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Psalm 42: 1
There’s no need to be thirsty. Jesus supplies our every need—daily. Will we let ourselves be filled to the brim and beyond? Take holy sips throughout each day, not just gulps when we’re in trouble. But even then, when we’re withered and worn—sick and tired—our merciful God has an IV ready and waiting. How much sickness do we want to bear before we come and get help?
As for me, I’ve learned my lesson.
Sip, sip, sip—all day long—every day.