By Patti Johnson

Patti has been volunteering with Care for Pastors with The Confidante for Pastors’ Wives for 7 years after she and her husband received counsel from Care for Pastors as a way to give back to the ministry. She joined the Care for Pastors staff in January 2020. Patti is one of the administrators of The Confidante Private Facebook group for pastors' wives and is a regular contributor to weekly blogs. She loves to use her gifts and abilities to support the needs of the ministry. Patti has been married to her Pastor husband Keith for 36 years. They have 3 adult children who all to their delight live in Florida.

    Living Water

    Tuesday, January 02, 2024

    Hydrate. Hydrate, Hydrate. Since Friday, October 27th, 2023, I have been hearing that word, hydrate, almost constantly. Emergency surgery, a week in the hospital, follow up appointments, recovery, and now chemotherapy treatment. In and through all of this, I have heard a word consistently and constantly mixed in with all the medical terms. Hydrate.

    What is the meaning of hydrate?

    The dictionary explanation is this: “to cause to take up or combine with water or the elements of water.”

    With my head spinning with diagnosis, post-surgery recovery, and treatment, I have pages of handwritten notes, printed documents, and brochures. But among all of that I have one word spinning in my head more than any other. Hydrate.

    I have learned that no matter what else our body needs, it will always need water.

    I have learned that no matter what procedure, surgery, treatment, diagnosis, or prognosis is present, our body needs to hydrate for any of it to be successfully carried out.

    I had fluid going in and coming out, measured and recorded.

    My mind has been able to slow down some and ponder on this. I have gotten the message; I must hydrate my body. But I must also make sure to hydrate my spirit.

    If I don’t, just like my body, I will not flourish. Why is that? What could happen? Let me illustrate.

    When we lived in Texas, we learned almost the first day we moved into our house how important water was to the foundation of our house. Our new neighbors came calling to tell us to make sure we “watered the foundation to the house.” Some even said to not worry about the grass or the plants or the trees, they were all drought loving, but the house foundation must be watered and watched.

    We soon learned that the earth in that area was made of clay. Hard, thick, dense clay. If it did not receive water on a regular basis, the clay would pull away from the foundation of the house and cause a gap that would allow the foundation to sink.

    We got the message and made sure to watch the foundation and make sure it was well hydrated. Irrigation sprinklers pointed right at the base of the house; soaker hoses circled around the foundation. We got the message, and we hydrated the foundation of the house.

    The same is true for the foundation of our spirit. If we do not hydrate with living water from the Word, we shrink up, pull away and sink.

    But if we hydrate ourselves, our spirit on the living water of the Word, we flourish, not only for ourselves, but we’ll be a source of hydration for others.

    When we sold the house a decade later, we handed over a well maintained, flourishing house foundation to the new owner. Had we not hydrated it ourselves, we could not have passed it on in that condition.

    Let’s commit 2024 to watering the foundation of our spirit so that others may flourish from what flows from us. Let’s combine with the living water of God’s Word and live flourishing.

    “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:38 (NIV)

    Help us continue providing resources of care for pastors and their families.

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