Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sit up and take notice

Ahhhh, sweet sleep. I was sleeping so peacefully; well, actually I had gone to bed with a nagging headache and I was in that strange world between dreams and wakefulness. I shifted just slightly and felt the twinge. This roused me from my stupor enough to know I didn't want what was about to happen. Then in a split second the cramp seized my calf muscle and I sat bolt upright in bed. I was rubbing my leg, pleading with my muscle to please not cramp. I didn't want to wake my husband, but when a cramp grabs your leg, that's a pretty much impossible. He asked if I was okay and all I could mutter was "CRAMP!"

Eventually I got the muscle to relax enough for me to lay my head back onto my pillow. It was 3:41 a.m. and I didn't have to get up for almost two hours....I would try to go back to sleep. Of course, it was then that I realized that my nagging headache had reached epic proportions and now measured around an 8 on the headache rictor scale. I hobbled to the kitchen to get an ice pack and something for the pain. By the time I got back into bed, all I could think was this was NOT how I wanted to start my day.

After lying there for about an hour I decided I might as well get up. My leg still ached, my head still throbbed, and I still had a full day of work ahead of me. Great, just great.

After a couple cups of coffee, it was time to hit the showers and get ready for whatever the day had in store for me. To be honest, this wasn't a pleasant thought since for the past week or so I've had a major case of the discontents. You know what I mean, I couldn't quite put my finger on what was wrong, I just knew things weren't right! The laughter that usually marked my days had been replaced by grumbling. I was still doing what I knew to do - but there just wasn't any joy in the day.

Now, maybe it was the headache, but it took me a couple of hours before my brain processed all that was right in front of me. As I headed out the door and grabbed my regular glass of ice water, I remembered that dehydration can cause leg cramps. Of course! That's why I had that nagging headache when I went to bed, too. I know my own body well enough to know that one of the major causes of headaches for me is not drinking enough water. Add to that the fact that I'd done a major workout the night before and you had a recipe for pain! That nagging little headache was my first sign that my "water level" was getting low. I ignored it and paid the price with a stabbing pain in my leg and an extremely early wake-up call. Well, at least now I knew what to do.

Then the REAL revelation hit me on the way to work. I knew the answer to why I had been in such a foul mood for the past week - I was spiritually dehydrated! I had continued to do what I knew was right - sort of like continuing to run round the track - but I had neglected to make sure I was staying hydrated with God's Word as I ran! Just like that nagging little headache, my discontent was trying to let me know I was running dry. Right then I knew one thing - I didn't want to have some sort of spiritual leg cramp that caused me to cry out in pain in the middle of the night! I wanted to take care of the problem long before it got to that!

It is so easy as Christians to get into a routine and forget to spend time with the One who can give us living water. We can fall into the trap of thinking that as long as we're doing what we "should" do, that the rest will follow. But I'm starting to realize more than ever that those moments when things aren't feeling "just right" may be a signal that I need to get away and spend time with Jesus.

Throughout the scripture, both Old and New Testament, there is a reference to our need for Jesus - the one who can give us water for our spirits.
Psalm 42: 1-2 "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God."
John 7:37 "On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink."
Revelations 22:17 "The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. "
These are just a few of the many references to water in connection with Jesus and the Word. (By the way, they are one in the same...just thought I'd add that since it just hit me as I was typing it. For reference, see John 1:1)

I don't want to suffer from spiritual dehydration....from here on out when I start to feel that nagging little discontent that tells me that something just isn't quite right, I'm going to sit up and take notice.

It's amazing what you can learn from a little muscle cramp.


Stacey said...

I really love you, Donna! It is kind of strange that we have only really met in person twice and briefly. But you are such a kindred spirit. You inspire me! And I totally understand the headache thing! I have been a long time sufferer. Haven't had one in a while - Praise God! I also understand the routine thing. That has been a big focus of mine during this fast.

Hope your day is better tomorrow!

Traci Michele said...

Spiritually dehydrated! Great analogy! Wooo hooo ! You are up to 9 readers, that is awesome!

Traci @ Ordinary Insprations

Donna said...

Thanks so much for reading! Tracey, I am so excited with the direction I feel God leading with this blog! Thank you so much for your help in making it more accessable for people!
Stacey, it's funny how God brings people together and they feel like old friends! I love it!

Kathryn said...

Donna - this was TEEEEEEEEEEEEERIFFIC!!!! I love the way your mind works and I am so glad that I get to read your writings. I can not tell you how much you have inspired me.

Keep it up! You are touching more lives than you may ever know :)

Melissa Ravencraft said...

You should have your own column in the local news Miss you!

Donna said...

Kathryn and Melissa - thanks so much for the encouraging words! You made my day!