It rained here last night. Not really, but my parched soul took it for rain when I saw the damp ground first thing this morning. I’m convinced the name “August” is an old Comanche word for heat stroke… or bake at 350 degrees for thirty-one days. Write it down on your calendar. If it’s August in Texas, it is hot and dry. Even the rattlesnakes are looking for some place cool to go. When I awoke to the sight of moisture on the ground today, I felt a bit of revival, as though my spirit might blossom again.
It was less than a tenth of an inch of rain, barely enough to measure, and nowhere near close to enough to bring actual relief. But for a moment, the earth looked less dry, and a faint scent of dampness hung in the air— the smell of hope that relief will come.
I drink a glass of water first thing every morning. It’s supposed to be good for one’s health, but truthfully I’m usually thirsty anyway. As I stood sipping my water and gazing out the kitchen window this morning, it occurred to me that I am quick to recognize the signs of physical thirst or dryness, but I’m not as quick to recognize the signs of spiritual dehydration.
I use conditioner on my hair, so it doesn’t dry out. I apply ever-increasing quantities of moisturizer to my skin as I age. And I slather on lip balm at the first sign of chapped lips.
If I’m planning to be outside in the heat, I make sure I hydrate with plenty of water, and when I prepare for a hike, I pack water for the journey.
I am faithful to avoid physical dehydration.
But how do I tend to my soul when it feels dry? Why do I allow my soul to get in a state of thirst in the first place?
I know that my soul needs care. It needs connection to an unending source of refreshment. And seeing how quickly such a small amount of rain delighted my heart and brightened my spirit today made me consider how many opportunities there are for me to satisfy the thirst of my soul.
Why not listen to a praise song while I’m rubbing in the hand lotion? What if I read a little scripture while I sipped that first glass of water in the morning? How about thinking on a blessing I’ve received while I smear on that Chapstick?
What if every time I stopped to tend to a physical need for hydration, I used the moment to hydrate my soul as well?
Too often lately I have felt dry in a place I don’t want to feel dry—my heart. The news comes at me like the Santa Anna winds, vaporizing my peace. I walk around my community and see other people who feel just as dry and depleted. Or I look at the things being said to one another on social media, and any joy still left evaporates faster than I can look away.
Unless I quench this thirst in my soul, my heart will become brittle. There are days I can feel it happening around the edges already. Left untended, eventually my heart may become too dehydrated to receive moisture. We’ve all seen people like that—so dried up in spirit that they have become hopeless. Or even worse, so desperate for relief for their parched souls, they drain everyone around them.
That’s not the person I want to be. And when I think about the abundant opportunities all around me to nourish my soul with the life-giving water of God’s word, I know I don’t have to be.
I don’t have to let the world dry up my soul when the refreshment it needs doesn’t come from this world, nor does it depend upon it.
But I have to drink.
One time, I was so ill I became dehydrated. I couldn’t keep anything down and ended up in the hospital where they promptly hooked me to an IV filled with the fluid I needed to restore my body and keep it functioning. But I couldn’t receive this restoration until I went to the hospital.
In the same way, we must go to God so He can fill us.
This week I encourage you to refresh your soul before you engage with the desiccating heat of the world around you. And be sure to share with others your ideas and insights.
To thank you for your help in sharing these messages, I want to share with you something I recently fell in love with-- The Chosen, Season 1. Everyone who subscribes to my email between now and Sept 11, 2020 will automatically be entered in a drawing (US residents only) to receive the DVD of season 1. If you're already a subscriber, then refer a friend who subscribes and receive 2 entries! (Just be sure you or your friend let me know you referred them.)