the living water
Jesus has a lot of names.
The Way. The Word. The Truth. Son of Man. Rabbi. Prophet. Prince of Peace. Nazarene. The Messiah. Light of the World. Lamb of God. Bread of Life. Carpenter's Son. The Good Shepherd.
You know, to name a few.
Some of these names were given by others and some, self-proclaimed by Jesus Himself. All of His names have more meaning and intricate beauty than we could ever comprehend, but I'm especially interested in the ones He gave to Himself. It's like that friend who goes by five different nicknames, but usually has a favorite if you take the time to ask.
I think that favorite says a lot about how that person wants to be known.
I used to detest water. Drinking it felt like such a chore; I never craved it and it would have always been a third choice behind milk or juice.
These days, it's almost all I drink. I've gotten into the habit of drinking two full bottles each morning before consuming anything else (yes, including coffee!), and I've found that allowing it to flush through my system at the start of the day leaves me feeling refreshed, clean, and energized. Though it was difficult to establish this habit, now that I have, whenever I eat or drink something before my morning dose of water, I tend to feel a bit more bogged down and lethargic than I otherwise would.
My motivation to start drinking more water was sparked a few years back, when I was in college. Though I'd tried to be better about my water consumption before, this particular time was different. Unlike my many failed attempts in the past, this effort was fueled by research—by knowledge.
Basically, I learned that a large percentage of the population is chronically dehydrated, and we don't even recognize the quality of life we're missing out on—the quality we would be enjoying if only we consumed an adequate amount of water.
Here's what some of those benefits are:
Clearer skin. Happens as the water flushes toxins out from the body (for more tips on clear skin be sure to read through to the end of this post!).
Increased energy. Believe it or not, dehydration is one of the leading causes of tiredness.
Increased immunity. The body is better equipped to fight sickness when properly hydrated.
Weight loss. Oftentimes we mistake thirst for hunger, meaning that staying hydrated can help to combat overeating.
Clearer thinking. Water helps to fight that annoying brain fog.
I dare you to find one person who has not at one point wished for one of those five things.
Want to know one of the names Jesus gave Himself? Something He claimed to provide?
Do you see the parallel here? Go back and read through each of the benefits of drinking more water. Jesus is each of those things to us spiritually.
"Clearer skin." Jesus is our cleanser. Just as water cleanses the toxins from our bodies, so does Jesus cleanse our hearts- of sin, of hurts, of shame.
"Increased energy." Jesus is our strength. He gives vibrancy and meaning to our lives.
"Increased immunity." Jesus is our defense. He equips us to recognize and combat destructive ways of thinking and lies that are so prevalent in this world.
"Weight loss." There are so many things we turn to to fill us—food, people's approval, relationships, new clothes, success. The desire that prompts us to seek after these things can only be fulfilled by Jesus. As He does fill us, the hold that those other things have on us loosens its grip.
"Clearer thinking." The enemy loves to bring on confusion and self-doubt. Jesus brings peace and clarity.
It's easy to go through our lives so dangerously deficient of these things. We long for them but oftentimes don't even believe that they can be found. That we could be free of shame, or filled with purpose, or spoken for, or freed from the never-ending search for satisfaction, or enveloped in peace. It just doesn't seem possible.
Right around the time I began to learn about the benefits of water to our bodies and livelihood is when I was also preparing to take my first ever trip out of the country on a mission trip to Honduras. One of the reasons I felt drawn to go on this trip is that its mission resonated with me, especially given what I was learning about water at the time. The mission? To bring the Living Water of Jesus Christ to the people of the village of La Avispa while simultaneously bringing drinking water, by digging trenches and installing a pipeline system (kind of comical to think about now, given my current position in communications promoting 811 Call Before You Dig).
In short, this trip was an incredible ten days and it began to open my eyes to the vast world beyond my own. The trip brought me perspective, new friendships, and most importantly, a deeper understanding and love for the person of Jesus, and the life He offers each one of us.
There is SO much more to Jesus than a ticket into heaven or a list of do's and don'ts.
Have you experienced the Living Water?
If you haven't but you're curious, I'd love to chat.
Baby Stefani and her sister Maleri.
After a long, exhausting week of digging, it was the most incredible feeling to watch them turn on the faucet and see water come streaming out. What a privilege to give the people of La Avispa drinking water and an infinitely greater privilege to introduce them to the Living Water.
Unique opportunity: This is my beautiful friend Jennie, who was on the trip to Honduras with me! She's always loved all things cosmetology (as you can see below from the impromptu hair salon she set up for the kids while we were there 💁🏼), and she now works for the company R + F, a dermatology based skincare line created by dermatologists to address the main skin concerns they saw coming into their office. If you want the best skincare products available while skipping a trip to the dermatologist's office, be sure to check out her website!
Here's a documentary on the trip, done by the talented Brian Alvarez!
P.S. To read more on why I think it's important to have your water/Water (😉) first thing in the morning rather than halfway through the day, click here!