I recently saw a show on public television about a climber who was stuck on a mountain after an accident left him with a broken leg. Severely dehydrated, freezing, weak and exhausted, he slowly made his way down the mountain, mostly by sitting and dragging himself down – a process that took days.
During the warmest part of the day, as the sun was melting the snow and ice beneath him, he could often hear water running somewhere below in ice crevices. At some points, it was nearly maddening for him to be able to hear the water he so desperately needed to quench his relentless thirst but be unable to see it or reach it.
Finally, he came across a tiny crack in the rock where water was trickling out. He laid down and put his face to the ground, licking the water directly off the rock. He found a way to dig around the rock and create a small pool where the water could gather, and he lapped up the life-restoring flow until he could hold no more.
“As I drank, I could feel my strength returning to me,” he said, “and I knew I would be able to finish this journey and make it the rest of the way down.”
When a body is dehydrated, organs do not function properly. Strength is sapped, and it is difficult to concentrate or think clearly.
So it is with the spirit. Our spirit can become severely dehydrated, causing various aspects of our lives to not function properly. Our strength is depleted and we find ourselves struggling for clarity and direction, seemingly unable to do anything more than keep breathing and getting through each day, much less living in any kind of victory.
I could not help but remember what this climber said about his strength returning to him as he drank when I (a few days later) was spending a little time in the Psalms before bed. As I read, the words that I needed to hear poured into my spirit bringing comfort, direction and hope. I felt my spirit being renewed and refreshed – I felt my strength returning.
The Word of God is filled with what we need not only to sustain, but to thrive. Our spirits are designed to be fueled by His word and His presence. Nothing else can replace these two things in our lives. There is no shortage of counterfeit things that will try to take the place of God’s word and His presence, but they can never satisfy our thirst for Him – it is not possible. This is by design.
And so, dear reader, be encouraged with this – make time to spend with God as often as possible. Soak in His presence and let His word wash over you. Here in the flow of these ancient words of life, we find healing, strength, hope, peace, joy, clarity and so much more. Here is where we are renewed, refreshed and recharged, not only for our own benefit, but also for the benefit of those around us.