Wednesday, February 8, 2023

We take so much for granted

Breakfast. Some eat it and some don't. I fall into the first category, believing that the day’s first meal is important. My husband, on the other hand, falls into the second. He doesn't like to eat first thing in the morning but would rather wait until lunchtime for his first meal. It's a personal preference and I don't fault him for wanting to wait while I prefer to eat something within the first hour of waking. We have our routines. But when my routine gets disrupted, I'm not a happy camper. 

I was slated for medical testing this morning. The doctor's office said I couldn't have anything to eat or drink after midnight. Since I don't stay up that late, my last sip of water was when I brushed my teeth, right before bed. I figured I could go without food for a while. I've fasted many times before but knew the water was going to be hard to do without. I've been dealing with a dry mouth and blocked salivary glands for months now and it's been a real challenge. 

So, I got up this morning and instantly realized I couldn't drink a cool glass of water like I wanted to because it would interfere with the test and I wasn't going to be able to have breakfast either. Rats! My mouth was so dry. I not only wanted a drink, but I also needed one! But since I couldn't afford to screw up the test by breaking the rules, I did everything I could think of to distract myself until time to go. I read my Bible and prayed. I checked my emails. I perused Facebook. I looked at the clock and waited. 

Finally, when the time to go came, my husband drove me to the hospital. We got checked in and sat in the waiting room. I watched the people that came and went while we waited. All were masked, a hospital requirement, but I could see their eyes and most of them looked concerned. None of us wanted to be there. 

Shortly after 9:00 AM, I was called back. The radiologist had asked if I liked applesauce and I said yes. He took a tube of radioactive liquid and injected it into the applesauce then told me to eat it. He said I wouldn't taste it so not to worry. 

The first bite I took was amazing. The cool, wetness of the applesauce tantalized my tongue. I wanted to eat a gallon of it! I was so hungry and so thirsty, mostly thirsty. After a couple of spoonfuls, he stopped me and asked me to lie on the table beneath the scanning machine. I won't lie. I was miffed. I wanted to finish my little lunch-sized container of applesauce. Poo! Instead, I did as I was told and climbed up onto the bed/table beneath the scanner and waited to be slowly inserted into the machine. 

There was a video screen just above and to the right of my head. I could see the image as the scanner moved over my stomach. There, in my esophagus, was a brightly illuminated area - the radioactive applesauce. After the image was captured, I was slipped out from under the scanner and told to wait in the waiting room for 90 minutes. At precisely 10:30, the radiologist said he'd come back and get me for another scan. 

Sitting in the waiting room, my mouth felt so dry. Those 2 bites of applesauce haven’t helped quench my thirst. Across the room was a water fountain. Oh, how I wanted to go take a long, luxurious gulp but I knew I couldn't. I'd asked the radiologist, after the scan, if I could have a drink of water. He'd said, "No, will alter the test results, and we don't want that." No, we didn't want that. 

As time ticked on, I became more and more aware of my thirst. My mouth felt like the Sahara Desert. My salivary gland on the left side wasn't working and hadn't been for months. Normally, I'd have been able to use the Biotene moisturizing mouthwash and lozenges the ENT had prescribed to help with the situation, but not so today. It was a wretched feeling to be thirsty and not be able to drink. That's when I thought of the thousands of people in Turkey and Syria. As I was feeling sorry for myself, I thought, "My situation is temporary. I'll be able to get a big glass of water right after this stuff is over, but they won't."

We got home and I had the biggest, longest drink of water I think I've ever had in my life. As I was enjoying it, Phil flipped on the TV. A news report said Turkey’s and Syria’s death toll has risen to 11,000. My heart dropped. I watched as images of rubble and devastation were displayed. The camera scanned the area revealing hundreds of homeless people lifting debris in hopes of finding survivors. All I could think was how cold and tired and hungry they must be, but more than that, how very thirsty they must be. 

Where would they get water? And how many days would they go without it? Would they resort to drinking from puddles or creeks if they could find one? Would aid workers to come with trucks full of bottled water? 

We need water to survive. Every single day we need water. Water is life. Without it, one can only survive about 3 days although there have been instances where people have survived longer periods. Our bodies crave water to regulate our temperature and feed our cells. 

We take access to clean water for granted. So many don't have that right. I pray, the next time you bring a cup to your lips before you even take one sip, you'll thank God for the gift of clean water and think about all those who are longing for refreshment. 

Can you imagine going for days and days without water? I can't. Fourteen hours without water just about did me in. Worse than going without physical water for me would be going without living water. Though my physical body will thirst again and again, my spirit is always quenched with the living water Christ provides. 

John 7: 37-39 says, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." Living water? In this passage, Jesus was referring to the Holy Spirit whom His followers had yet to receive but would shortly after He had been glorified.

The well of Living Water never runs dry because it's fed by God. Our wells, rivers, lakes, and streams can dry up if conditions aren't right. One gives temporary refreshment while the other gives eternal refreshment. Which would you rather have? I'd rather have the one I know will never run out! What about you?

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