Early on in the summer I must have decided to be overly hydrated. I don't remember actually having the thought, but I have never in my life consumed so much water. I just keep drinking, and drinking, and drinking. You know what I've discovered? I think I've lived my entire life with a low-level of dehydration.
After about a week of refilling my cup all the dang day long I started feeling noticeably more alive. Less tired. A million times more happy. Less panicky. Less angry. Just so stinking different. Its amazing what a steady flow of cold water can do to a single body.
Yesterday I taught a live worship yoga class and set the intention on Psalm 63:
"God - you're my God!
I can't get enough of you!
I've worked up such hunger and thirst for God,
traveling across dry and weary deserts.
So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open,
drinking in your strength and glory.
In your generous love I am really living at last!
My lips brim praises like fountains.
I bless you every time I take a breath;
My arms wave like banners of praise to you.
Because you've always stood up for me,
I'm free to run and play.
I hold on to you for dear life,
and you hold me steady as a post."
As I was teaching the class I thought about all of the deserts I have lived my life in. It seems like wilderness has been a recurring thing for me - maybe even a near constant experience. I'm always meeting God in the barrenness of my life. I'm always sitting on a threshold of some sort - just waiting for breakthrough and freedom to come bursting through the clouds.
I've lived my life in spiritual deserts and I have met Jesus in such beautiful ways. I would have it no other way. Every struggle has been worth it. Every heartache has produced fruit that has sustained me. Every single lonely wilderness has been for the deepest kind of healing and redemption possible.
But right now, in this season, there is no wilderness. I'm suddenly, and surprisingly, at peace. There is rest and mercy at this very moment. Hear me, friends, I still struggle. Oh, I struggle. Being the mama of a stubborn six-year-old boy is not easy and it drives me to Jesus over and over again.
But I am at rest. I'm happy. I'm hopeful. I'm expectant. There is relief and a flood of life pouring in from every direction. In his generous love I am really living.
I didn't know how dehydrated I was until I started drinking enough water. I didn't know that I needed so much more than I was getting. I didn't know my own thirst. And my own soul didn't know that I needed a season of rest, and peace, like I needed a flood of cool water to sweep in over my wilderness.
Something so profound happens in our seasons, or lifetimes, of struggle. We encounter God in a way that would have never been available to us without a little wilderness. We find ourselves so stripped of excuses and comfort - so thirsty for life. He is life. He is abundance and joy. He is rescue and redemption. He is whisper and battle cry. He is cool rain and blazing heat. He is growth and water that springs up from nowhere. He is struggle and encounter. He is comfort, friends. In every single wilderness season, he is truest source of comfort and mercy.
So, two things:
1. Drink more water. Your body will rejoice in the sensation of being fully and gloriously hydrated.
2. Embrace your season. Wherever you are, look for Jesus. Let him call you deeper into the wilderness if that is what will revive you. Let him call you to the very fringes and then back out again. He knows what he's doing. He is always, and only, working for your freedom. If your season is overflowing with rest, soak in it. Don't be ashamed of peace - let it soothe your soul's tired feet. You may have been wandering for a long, long time. Stay here, find contentment for the moment. If and when your season shifts again, find joy in the time you spent here and anticipation for what is next.