I recently started donating plasma to earn some extra money. One of the first things I learned was to keep myself hydrated.  Being well-hydrated allowed the machine to pull the plasma from my blood a lot faster and it lessens the amount of time that I am hooked up to the machine.

Plasma is manufactured into a wide variety of lifesaving products that can benefit those who have hemophilia and immune system deficiencies.  It is also used to make products to help treat diseases like tetanus, rabies, measles, rubella, and Hepatitis B. 

One day when I donated plasma, it became obvious that I was dehydrated.  It was taking much longer during each cycle to collect the blood and separate the plasma.  When the machine is pulling the blood out, I have to pump my fist.  That particular day, I was wearing myself out with all of the pumping, yet feeling like I was getting nowhere.  I could watch the machine and see how slowly things were flowing.  Finally, after one hour and fifteen minutes, they had to just disconnect the machine and take what plasma they did get, rather than waiting to collect the normal amount from me.

It occurred to me that we can become spiritually dehydrated.  Jesus tells us in John 4:14 that if we drink the water which He supplies, we won’t ever thirst again.  In keeping ourselves hydrated physically, it requires that we drink water before we actually feel thirsty.  If we feel thirsty, then we are already dehydrated.  It’s the same in the spiritual realm.  We need to drink of the Living Water before we feel the need for it.  Then, when the days of trial and testing, sickness, or even an overloaded schedule come, we have some Living Water already stored up to keep us spiritually hydrated.

Just as my plasma flow was slow because of dehydration, my spirit will be slow to be in step with God’s will my life if I’m spiritually dehydrated.  I will be less apt to feel those gentle nudgings of the Holy Spirit.  I won’t be as willing to set aside my agenda for God’s agenda.  If I’m spiritually dehydrated, I will be much more likely to walk in the flesh, giving in to anger, bitterness, wrath, filthy language and selfishness.  (Col. 3:8) I will have a very hard time showing a love that is kind, patient, humble, self-sacrificing, and rejoicing in truth.  My love will be less likely to protect, trust, hope, and persevere.  (I Cor. 13)  On the contrary, when I stay connected to the vine (Jn. 15), drinking of the water that comes from the Source of Life, I will be able to clothe myself with compassion, being kind, humble, gentle, and patient in my words and actions.  (Col. 4:12)

Just as I had to pump really hard to keep the blood flowing at a faster pace, when I’m spiritually dehydrated, I begin to strive in my flesh, forgetting that apart from Christ, I can do nothing.  (Jn. 15:5)

When I am hydrated, I am able to donate the maximum amount of plasma, which can help to give life to someone else.  When I’m spiritually hydrated, I can be a life-giver to those around me.  I can encourage the weak, reach out to the oppressed, and pray for the sick, imparting to them life-giving words of scripture.

How about you?  Are you feeling dehydrated?

© 2004, Stacy R Miller


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