By Craig B. Johnson
Community Covenant Church, Upsala
With the temperature below freezing I thought we might be encouraged by an illustration from south of the border.
We were on a mission trip. It was 100 degrees in the shade. It was so hot, we broke a sweat when we smiled. Minnesotans were not prepared for these extreme temperatures. We were working in a new housing development built on a former garbage dump. The trees were small so shade was scarce. Our project was to build 12-foot by 12-foot houses for families just outside Reynosa, Mexico. The wood supplies had arrived so we began to build the floor platforms. It was so hot, about 105, that we feared heat stroke for the students. So every 30 minutes or so we yelled “Water break.”
It’s one of the few times as a leader I received 99.9 percent cooperation from the kids. The need for water was great and there was a good chance of dehydration. We took time to drink mucho aqua. (A lot of water.)
In many ways our life can feel like it’s 100 degrees in the shade (or 20 below). The pressures of family, work, school, schedule and society can heat us up in a hurry. Without stopping for renewal we can become spiritually dehydrated in no time. One of my students would said, “I can handle this heat,” just before she passed out.
When was the last time you took time to take a drink for your thirsty soul? By that I mean have you spent time alone with the Lord. Most of us say I just don’t have time. Sadly, too many Christians are saying, “I’m OK, I don’t need to take time to spend time refreshing their spirit just before they spiritually pass out. The list of struggles that can begin to take over our lives is long. It is my prayer that each of us will understand the need to periodically take extended time to be with the Lord.
It was Martin Luther who spent extended time every morning in prayer. He said he had so much to do he could not afford to not pray. Cynthia Bezek shares in Prayer Magazine that her first time of extended prayer and quiet was a gift from a friend. Her friend had noticed Cynthia was especially frazzled so she offered to watch her toddler so Cynthia could take the day alone. She took her up on it and the time with God changed her whole outlook.
We also struggle with that concept of taking time away. Somewhere we have gotten the idea that it is a bad use of time. How can we sit and do nothing? Those of us who can’t sit still any- time wonder how this is even possible. But for most, it’s time to change our perspective. Spending time in prayer and reading the Bible is the best use of our time.
This time of year many of us stay inside a little more. I encourage one to take extended time reading the Bible and in prayer. Jesus’ words from John 4 are an invitation to all of us.
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 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.
Listen up everybody: “It’s time for a ‘Living’ water break.