By Carmen Victoria Elmendorf
In the middle of the recent water crisis, in my hometown of Charleston, W.Va., I realized I was experiencing two different kinds of toxicity. When a chemical spill occurred from a local storage facility, that chemical tainted the river leading to the water-treatment facility in charge of making our water safe to drink and use. While extremely toxic to our environment, the disruption it caused also left me with a toxic soul because I allowed it to interrupt my time with God.
When the chemical leaked into our water supply I did not have access to clean drinking water for days. Soon I could feel my lips dry and cracked and my entire body felt depleted. The drinks I substituted for water, even though they were nutritious, did not fulfill the need for hydration in the body. The water crisis loomed outside, in our local river and at our water treatment plant, but it affected us inside- in the places of our residence, at our employ, at our schools and hospitals. Toxic waste seeped through pipes connecting these to the source where the purification was supposed to take place.
Being in survival mode during the water crises left me so perturbed, I failed to make sufficient time to study God's word. I could feel my spirit become empty and thirsty, devoid of revitalizing spiritual water in my soul. I realized my problem was within me. Just the same as a chemical located at a remote location affected multitudes of people within, my own neglect of studying daily God's word allowed the cares of my world (and toxic life events simultaneously occurring around me) to seep within my soul. Troubles from without tainted the pipeline connecting me to my purifying source -- heaven itself!
Reading God's word allows our spirit to be hydrated. Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well if she knew who she was speaking to, she could ask him for water and he would give her living water. He went on to assert, "anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life." John 4:10, 13-14 NLT I don't know about you, but I get feel exhilarated at the thought of fresh, living water bubbling up within me. Not the stuff from the tap at home, but the sacred from heaven.
More vital to our survival than bathing our physical bodies is the daily bathing of our soul! Ephesians 5:25, 26 talks about Christ giving his life for the church (the church as the body of Christ) "to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God's word." We are justified by the blood of Christ, which washes us clean of our sins and cleanses the spirit within us. We still need to be sanctified -- set aside and made whole in our soul, which is our mind, will and emotions. There may be times of sudden panic within, when an out-of-the-blue fearful thought threatens to undermine our faith. This is because our flesh and spirit are in a constant battle with the enemy of our soul, the devil, who is the father of lies -- John 8:44. We need to know what the word of God says so we can claim his promises and recover our joy and peace. "When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer." Psalm 94:19 NLT
These current water woes hopefully are a temporary inconvenience. It is noteworthy that our physical life is also temporary, but our spirit will live forever! Jesus said, "Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink!" John 7:37-38 NLT
Elmendorf may be contacted at carmenvictoriaelmend...@yahoo.com.