During the last few weeks of the high school football season, even as I sat shivering beneath multiple layers and blankets, I noticed several players getting muscle cramps and heard about issues getting the correct plays called in the huddle.

The problem? Dehydration. During the intense heat early in the season, it was easy to remember to drink a lot of water and Gatorade. But as the temperature dropped, the thought of chugging icy beverages slipped from being a priority … until problems appeared on the field.

While dehydration can cause thirst, weakness, dizziness, headaches, nausea, sluggishness, sleepiness, and heart palpitations, another interesting symptom of dehydration is mental confusion. Studies have shown that being even slightly dehydrated interferes with a football player’s ability to remember a play between the sideline and the huddle … and from the huddle until the ball is snapped! Dehydrated players perform worse than if they are hydrated.

The lesson? Even if I don’t think I’m thirsty or feel like drinking, my body needs hydration. (After all my body is made of 60-70% water and doctors recommend drinking at least 64 ounces of water daily.)

Yet, being spiritually thirsty also interferes with clear thinking. Do I pay as much attention to drinking in the Word of God and His Spirit? Do I recognize the symptoms of being overly dry? Am I drinking daily or hoping a Sunday service is enough to see me through? Have I found the source of living water?

The Psalmist wrote: “Some wandered in desert wastelands … they were hungry and thirsty and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble and he delivered them from their distress … for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” (Psalm 107:4-6, 9 NIV)

Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (John 7:37b-38 NIV).

Standing beside a well, Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14 NIV)

Come to the well and drink deeply. Never be dehydrated again.

What about you? Do you drink enough water? Have you ever been spiritually dehydrated? How did God quench your thirst?

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