"Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink!" We've all heard that saying, right? You truly understand it when you go whitewater rafting.
I had some white tea with my breakfast at 7:00 in the morning. To cut down on bathroom stops, I didn't drink anything after that. When we arrived in Nantahala, everything happened so fast, and the next thing I knew, we were rafting. Obviously, it was too late to get anything to drink at that point. (Besides, with an 8-mile trip down the river and being a person who has to go to the bathroom every 20 minutes or so, I thought it would be wise to stay away from beverages of all types.)
I was so thirsty!!!!!! It was a warm, sunny day. We were surrounded by water, and all I could think was, I'm so thirsty . . . and I still have to go to the bathroom!
Now, I suppose I could have drunk some water out of the river. In fact, I thought about it, but when I saw a group of kids on the bank pull a huge snake from the water, I realized I wasn't THAT thirsty. As the day wore on, I thought I was going to die of thirst! Finally, it was lunchtime.
The beverage served at lunch was Gatorade. I am not a big fan of Gatorade, but that day, it might as well have been water from Heaven. I guzzled down two glasses and then reminded myself that I had a three-hour van ride through the mountains, so I might want to take it easy. (In case you're wondering, no, it didn't help. I still had to go to the bathroom. Plus, we got caught in a traffic jam, causing the trip to take an extra 30-45 minutes. KILL ME!!!!!)
Anyway, the entire situation reminded me of how we surround ourselves with so many things that seem important, yet we suffer daily from spiritual dehydration. We have our jobs, our families, our friends, our churches, our various ministries, our dreams, and on and on. We have our great intentions and our work for the Lord. We're completely surrounded by demands, desires, and obligations. But our hearts are dry. We're doing all the right things, but we're not necessarily doing them for the right reasons.
I'm reminded of Martha in the Bible. She was busy. She was surrounded by duty, obligation, and a desire to serve. In fact, she was surrounded by Jesus and his followers. But, spiritually, she was dry. As Joanna Weaver put it in her book, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Martha opened her home, but she didn't open her heart. She was doing a good thing, but she was so busy, she didn't take the time to be blessed. Jesus told her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things; But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:41-42)
Doing the Lord's work is a wonderful thing. Being involved in various church functions or other ministries is great. The Lord desires our service, but He wants it with a servant's heart. The only way to get that is to spend some time refreshing our soul with the water of the Word. How can we tell others the Good News if we are so spiritually dehydrated that we can't even remember why we're serving? It has become a habit instead of an act of devotion. God doesn't want that. He doesn't want to see our souls die of spiritual thirst. That's why He gave us His Word.
Drink! Drink deeply! Drink so deeply that it overflows and refreshes others as well. We have no excuse. The water has been provided. It is our choice whether or not we drink. (And best of all, this water won't make you have to go to the bathroom!)