Dehydration - an abnormal loss of water from the body, especially from illness or physical exertion
symptoms: dizziness, nausea, cramping, diarrhea
As someone who has been either pregnant or nursing every summer for the last 6 years, I am often thinking about whether I am drinking enough water. I keep in mind the symptoms of dehydration so I know what to look for in myself, but also in the child I am feeding (when nursing).
Recently, I was thinking about this and realized that these are the same symptoms that occur when we do not take in enough living water.
Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." She said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his and his sons and his cattle?" Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become a well of water springing up to eternal life." The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw." - John 4:10-15
We draw on this well of living water by reading God's Word (the Bible). If we are not consuming this water frequently and daily we will experience spiritual dehydration. Just as with physical dehydration, illness and physical exertion drains our store of water more rapidly. When we are going through difficult times in life, this may be physical illness, mental anguish, emotional issues, relationship problems, or other such difficulties, we can become spiritually drained. We can also become spiritually drained from serving in ministry. It's supply and demand. The more our lives challenge us, the more we need to draw from God's Word to fill us. The more we put out serving, the more we need to take in for replenishment.
But how do we know if we are getting enough living water? We will experience the same symptoms that come with physical dehydration, but in a different sense.
Dizziness: confusion of not knowing what God wants from us or for us. It will no longer be clear to us.
Nausea: we will be sick to our stomachs with guilt knowing what we should be doing that we are not.
Cramping: living with pain rather than peace; clenched tightly in fear or anger
Diarrhea: sin will spew out of us faster than we can catch it or hold it back
While yes, it is somewhat amusing to think of it this way, but there is truth to what I am saying and I can look back and see the times in my life when I was not consistent in renewing my supply of living water; I experienced all these symptoms of spiritual dehydration.
Maybe you can't see any of these symptoms in yourself, but as I mentioned earlier, one way I can assess my own physical dehydration is by looking for symptoms in those I am feeding. This is true of spiritual dehydration as well. Are those you are feeding into experiencing these symptoms? Then maybe you need to check whether or not you have allowed for your well to become dry. Maybe not, maybe it is just them, and if that is the case, then you need to lovingly remind them where to fill up.
So remember to drink the water, both the H2O your body needs and the Scripture that your spirit needs.