Do you ever feel like you are dried up, like an old river bed?
Sometimes we spend so much time pouring out into others that we forget we can run empty. And then when empty, we still give from the deeper stores within us. Until we are weepy and weary and lost.
We neglected to be filled up with the Living Water that is the Lord. We hear stats that claim a very high percentage of Americans are in a chronic state of dehydration. Well, I don’t know if that is accurate, but I do believe that a high percentage of believers are in a chronic state of dehydration: spiritual dehydration.
But how can this be? We have greater resources at our finger tips than any generation ever before us.
- praise music on our phones which are attached to our hips
- scripture in every digital form possible
- sermon podcasts and videos
- worship services online streamed or archived
So how can we be spiritually dried up? If we have the means of being filled with the Living Water that never runs out, how can we be experiencing spiritual dehydration?
I don’t know if I ever understood this so clearly as when I lived in New Mexico.
They have things called arroyos – dried up creeks or beds that are cracked from the lack of water and baked in the hot New Mexican sun. They often run from the mountains down to the river, miles and miles of dried earth without life or vegetation. But then a storm will start high up in the mountains and the water begins to pour and follows the river or creek bed that used to be there. Soon the water is RUSHING down the arroyo (and is very dangerous to cross) on its way to the river where it empties.
You see this rushing turbulent water and think, “finally, the creeks will be filled again!” But you’d be wrong. Once the storm has run its course and the streaming tempest is stilled, the water is gone from the arroyo. And, believe it or not, they are just as cracked and dried up as before.
How can this be?
The waters came with such speed and might that there was no time for it to soak into the hardened bed of the arroyo. It was like brick baked in the oven, brittle, hard, unyielding; so hard, the water simply runs off the top, never penetrating to the starving soil beneath. The desert stays a desert, in a chronic state of dehydration.
Do our electronic tools create a hard surface in our hearts?
Are we skipping the time for those long gentle rains of the prairies? Here it rains a lot in June (particularly). Sometimes for days on end, sometimes violently, but often long soft and steady. These rains allow the soil to soak up the water. They don’t flow off the surface, taking top soils and leaving it more barren than before. These rains bring nourishment and life to the soil, deep below the surface.
These soft steady rains fill up what is lacking to hydrate the needy soil. Only then can the soil produce the heavy demanding crops like corn and wheat.
Are you following my picture here?
- Are we using electronics for fast pourings of scripture and praise?
- Do we take many doses of surface worship, never really sitting in the presence of the Lord and taking the time, effort and energy to truly press in to His heart?
- Are we allowing the Spirit to reach deep into our soul and spirit to fill us with refreshment?
- Are we kidding ourselves into thinking we can listen to the Word in our cars as we drive our children around thinking we are filled for all we need?
Please don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the tools we have today. They help us when our lives get so busy we literally don’t have time to sit (or when we do, we fall asleep). But we should not think they are enough.
When was the last time you just SAT in His presence?
No noise, no music, no audio bible. Just sat with the Lord and waited for Him. When was the last time you meditated on His word? Not memorizing (as a discipline) but just chewed the word up like a cow chewing its cud: lying on the ground with nowhere to go, just ruminating. Do we sit and let the words of scripture roll over in our minds and let the Spirit speak His life into us through them?
I know I sometimes get stuck in times of being dried out. I’m feeling that way tonight. It could be lack of sleep or the heat. But my husband read to me from Ps 104 and I felt the Spirit of God ministering deep in my heart. I felt a gentle pouring of water refreshing my inward being. It was sweet and beautiful.
How about you? Is God waiting to fill you with life but you are letting the busyness of life pull you away? Look at Ps 104 tonight and let Him wash over your soul!