(I usually leave the writing about our hikes to Frances. However, I thought I'd share a few considerations this week of our recent journey in Grayson Highlands National Park, Virginia. Thanks, Glen.)
The Virginia mountains in which we recently hiked offered plenty of water after a winter of snow and rain. I nevertheless found it difficult to stay hydrated during our hike, likely because I changed my water system for this journey. I carried less water, and thus found myself conserving rather than drinking. The very warm, dry conditions led to much loss of fluid as we walked and climbed. This resulted in a frequent sense of thirst, along with the tiredness and fatigue that accompanies dehydration. I have always found hiking to be invigorating in the past, but this time experienced far more episodes of feeling less than energetic. I hope to be more prepared in the future, and return to skipping rather than trudging up mountain trails! (well, I've never actually skipped!).
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17).
Spiritual tiredness and fatigue also result not from the expenditure of effort, but rather from failure to partake of "the water of life." Trusting and obeying God invigorates the heart, regardless of the challenges and hardships faced thereby. As the Apostle Paul declared, the outward man may "perish" as we walk with our Lord. The inward man, however, "is renewed day by day" (II Corinthians 4:16). Thus, a tired heart reveals our need to "take the water of life freely." We seek the Lord Jesus in His Word and by His Spirit, or as the writer of Hebrews encouraged, "Consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds" (Hebrews 12:3). As in my physical circumstance last week, it is not the efforts, challenges, and difficulties that spiritually weaken us, but rather the dehydration of the heart that occurs when we fail to adequately avail ourselves of abundant provision in Christ. "He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of His belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38).
A thirsty spirit indicates need for a heart filling and fulfilling remembrance of the Wellspring always available to God's trusting children in Christ. "Let him that is athirst come." Moments of weariness in the mountains last week, based on carrying too little water, caused me to think and rejoice that this is never the case spiritually. "Rivers of living water" flow unto and within us always, promising strength for any journey as we partake. "All my springs are in Thee" exulted the Psalmist (Psalm 87:7). They are, and may God's Spirit and God's Scriptures led us to the flowing waters that slake our heart's thirst and empower our journeys…
"For with Thee is the fountain of life."
"Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."
Weekly Memory Verse
"Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass."