I have always had very dry skin. My parents tried countless lotions and creams throughout my childhood and I continued my search for one that worked for me even into adulthood. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my daughter and making sure that I drank the recommended amount of water that I realized something I had never paid attention to. Even when I was drinking the daily recommended amount for a pregnant woman, I was thirsty. The recommended amount hardly even began to quench my thirst. So, I started to increase the amount I drank until I was no longer thirsty, which ended up being double the recommended amount per day. Suddenly my skin stopped being as dry and I could even skip a day between applying lotion. I realized that for some reason I need to drink more water than most people do and when I don’t there is evidence in the form of dry, itchy skin, a dry, cotton mouth, and irritability. I was dehydrated and although I could try lotions and creams to mask and even slightly help the issue, the issue still remained until I gave my body what it desperately needed.
Most likely you don’t have to drink as much water as I do. My brother has noticed that he has to drink more water too so we think it is something genetic. What I do know is that your body does need water in order to function and survive. When you don’t get enough you become dehydrated and your body begins to have evidence of it too, even if you don’t notice it. Water is a necessity. We see this when we take care of animals or when we are growing any kind of plant. Water is vital.
Knowing that water is a necessity for our physical bodies its pretty amazing that in John 4:10 Jesus tells a Samaritan woman that he is able to give her living water. Water is essential to life, to you and me, and Jesus says that he can provide it. Even more than that he says the water he provides is living water and that unlike regular water it is capable of quenching our unending, insatiable thirst (John 4:14).
So let me ask you, are you thirsty? I know I am. I am thirsty and so often turn to things in this world that carry the promise of filling me up. I turn to Netflix or Hallmark movies. I turn to that must have item or the next expected life step. I turn to my role as a wife, mom, or friend. I seek out more knowledge by watching YouTube videos or listening to podcasts. Most of these are not inherently bad things but when I buy the promise (sometimes literally buy) that they can quench my thirst, I am and will always be disappointed again and again.
Sometimes I turn to things that are even recognized as unhealthy to quench my thirst. I depend on the compliments and praises of others. I place the opinions of people who don’t even know me above God’s. I place unrealistic expectations on my spouse that are just plain impossible for any human to meet. I compare the nitty, gritty of my life to the manufactured, manicured life of others posted on social media.
I will sometimes seek out these false thirst quenchers because I want to numb or “check out,” just for a bit. But after my checking out I am not refreshed or revitalized because they can not satisfy. But Jesus, oh Jesus, he does not make a promise that he can not and will not fulfill. All throughout scripture God uses descriptions of water to illustrate what He can and will do in our lives if we turn to Him and seek Him. He will provide abundantly in any of the dry areas of our hearts. But when we aren’t seeking Him the evidence is there, even when we don’t notice it.
Looking back, I especially see this in my life during a time in college. I wasn’t seeking God or His will in my life and I made poor decision after poor decision. I strained close relationships, one has never been repaired. I was parched and so, so thirsty, but I ignored the only remedy to my condition. There was a glass of overflowing water at my feet, but I knew to get it I had to admit my need and bend low in humility. So instead I ran from thing to thing all the while becoming more exhausted and dehydrated. I didn’t realize and sometimes didn’t care about the amount of harm I was causing in my relationships, as a result of the distance I was putting between God and myself. But the beautiful, undeserved thing about running from God is that no matter how far you have ran, He is willing to meet you right where you are. Even when we willingly chose the dry deserted land we are in.
What are the dry places in your life? Maybe for you it is a dehydrated marriage or relationship with a friend. Maybe it is a past mistake that you can’t seem to numb no matter how much you spend. Maybe it is a dry desert of unforgiveness. Maybe it is a parched land of sin and deliberate disobedience of God’s commands. My hope and prayer is that you will get out your bible, whether it be in book or app form, and as you look up these verses you will ask God to do the work that only He can do in the dry places in your life. I know that He will do what He says because He is faithful. I have seen it done in my life and the lives of others. And He will do it in your life as well. I urge you to drink from His word, learn who He is, and stop chasing the things that will never quench your thirst. It is a truth and reminder I desperately need everyday.
Read John 4: 1-26, 39-42, Isaiah 41:17-20, Isaiah 43:19, and Isaiah 58:11.
You tell me “Come to the waters,
you who are thirsty and dry.
Come to the waters and find rest
I will never leave your side.”