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... a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and bills.
A Land of Brooks of Water
I have traveled this good land that God's Word talks about. I've seen the waterfalls and pools, the brooks and streams that flow into the Jordan River and then flow into the beautiful blue Sea of Galilee.
How exciting to discover this precious, pure water when one has traveled through the desert or over the rocky hills. Nothing is so refreshing or satisfying as a cool drink of fresh water. Wouldn't you agree?
How precious and life-giving is water! It is so priceless that it is used as one of the chief symbols of Christ Himself. The Bible tells us that the Israelites in the wilderness "all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:4).
Jesus refers to Himself as living water in John 7:37-39:
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." But this He spokeconcerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
IMPORTANT FUNCTIONS OF WATER
It's amazing that we have so overlooked the value and importance of drinking water. Water is a necessity for life. Drinking sufficient water is one of the easiest and most important ways we can improve our health.
Water has many critical benefits, including helping keep us free from infections. Water also makes spinal fluid to cushion and control the nervous system. "It is necessary for all digestive, absorption, circulatory, and excretory functions, as well as for the utilization of the water-soluble vitamins."
We think we have to add something to water—tea, coffee, carbonation, flavor, or sugar. But what we really need is to make a deliberate choice to return to plain old-fashioned water. And when our taste buds have made the adjustment, how much better everything will taste. Now I enjoy the true flavor of the food I eat. And I love the taste of good, pure water.
• An average adult body contains about forty-five quarts of water. • The temperature of the body is controlled through water. • Water makes up 65 percent of the human body. • Water makes up 92 percent of the blood of the human body. • Water makes intestinal, gastric, saliva, and pancreatic juices. • Water prevents dehydration resulting in parched, dry skin, chronic constipation, and burning, irritating urine. • Water holds all nutritive factors in solution and acts as a transportation medium to various parts of the body. • Water keeps mucous membranes soft and free from friction.
If we drink too little water, we will likely suffer from constipation and increase our risk of heat exhaustion or even heat stroke! Lack of water can also make us more susceptible to asthma attacks, dental disease, kidney stones, and urinary tract infections.
Consumer Reports on Health warns that if we don't monitor an adequate daily intake of water, we may be increasing our chances of getting a cold or even cancer. If we become dehydrated, we can also suffer from headaches, fatigue, lightheadedness, muscle cramps, and slightly dulled thinking.
Paul Bragg, a world-famous physical fitness authority, said:
I think that the excessively nervous person and/or the mentally upset person is so obsessed with his own worries and hang-ups that he just forgets to drink water and liquids of the right kind. Instead he dopes himself on alcohol, tea, coffee, and cola drinks. This complicates his nervous condition and burning, toxic acid forms in the stomach with no water to dilute it.
So on top of his nervousness and depression, he suffers from sour acid stomach, heartburn, gas-bloat, and other miseries. Instead of drinking water, many people take aspirin, use cigarettes and other stimulants. Remember that the nerves need the correct amount of water to function properly and smoothly. We need to drink six to eight glasses of water each day. You can plainly see that it is possible to suffer from water starvation.
WHAT KIND OF WATER SHOULD WE DRINK?
As in many areas, experts disagree over what kind of water we should drink. Some say we should drink mineral water from fresh, unpolluted springs. Others say we should drink distilled water without the minerals because the minerals in regular water cannot be absorbed in the body, they believe. Many people have installed water purifiers or distillers to help eliminate chlorine and other harmful additives.
Dr. Norman Walker recommends drinking distilled water because it helps to cleanse inorganic mineral deposits that are of no constructive value from the body. He writes that "distilled water collects the minerals discarded ... originally collected from its contact with the earth and rocks." The distilled water does not leach the organic minerals that your body uses.
Many people are totally oblivious to any benefits or harmfulness of different types of water and drink only according to taste. Our refrigerator has a purifier on its water dispenser; however, I drink distilled water whenever available. I would encourage you to read all sides of the story and then make your choice wisely. At any rate, you should drink lots of water!
Concerns About Water Quality
Most people assume that tap water is clean and healthy. They say, "If it's clear, it must be clean!" However, this may not be the case. Today we need to be concerned about the chlorine, pesticides, and parasites that may be in our tap drinking water.
Chlorine has long been added to public drinking water to kill disease-causing bacteria. But the levels of chlorine can be quite high, and some by-products of chlorine are known carcinogens.
Something even more dangerous are the pesticides that may be present in our tap water. Pesticides are suspected of causing or contributing to breast and liver cancer. This is because the breast is made of fatty tissue, and toxins tend to accumulate in fatty tissue and the liver.
What About Carbonated Water?
Plain water is better than carbonated beverages for quenching your thirst and avoiding dehydration simply because you can drink more. According to Dr. Dean Edell: "Because the bubbles in carbonation take up room, an eight-ounce glass of plain water holds more water than an eight-ounce glass of carbonated water."
Dr. Edell does not think that carbonation leaches calcium from the bones—contrary to some opinions. However, he states that cola drinks may have a harmful effect on bones because of the phosphoric acid that is injected into the colas. A chief problem with carbonation is that it causes abdominal bloating and gas.
Water from Other Sources
Many claim that they don't need to drink six to eight glasses of water each day because they eat lots of fruits and vegetables. I've heard people say that the coffee, juice, milk, etc., they drink gives them the liquid their body needs. This is not entirely true; these liquids cannot take the place of pure water. I do, however, want to add that juice can be a refreshing substitute for sodas.
Coffee, on the other hand, is another issue altogether. Like alcohol, caffeinated coffee is a diuretic and can cause a person to eliminate as much liquid as he or she consumes. It's best to avoid them both! Try drinking herbal teas instead. There are many varieties available.
You Will Never Thirst Again
Jesus told the woman at the well that if she would drink of the water that He gave, she would never thirst again (see John 4:10). What a satisfying drink that was! She drank of this pure, sparkling Living Water, and she ran to get others to do the same! Truly, Jesus is a well of water springing up to everlasting life!
As the Deer Longs for Water
Thirst is used as a description of our longing after God. David had been hiding in the caves at En Gedi, an oasis in the desert. He had seen the deer leaping on the rocky hillside, searching for a drink from a clear, calm stream. He had seen the refreshment of that beautiful animal as it deeply drank to satisfy its thirst. And he saw in that scene a spiritual lesson.
David thirsted after God in a similar way. Psalm 42:1 says, "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God." David was physically thirsty. He longed for a drink from Bethlehem's well.
David was also spiritually thirsty. Psalm 63:1-2 says, "O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory."
Jesus, That Spring in the Desert
I had the privilege of visiting the oasis at En Gedi in the midst of the desert near the Dead Sea. I climbed the steep paths that passed by many fresh springs and flowing brooks. I finally arrived at the beautiful waterfall and pool at the very top. During the climb I was constantly reminded that Jesus is the Spring in the desert, the flowing River of Living Water, the heavenly drink from Bethlehem's well.
Jesus promises true satisfaction to each of us. Blessed fulfillment is ours when we thirst after righteousness (see Matthew 5:6). Won't you come to Him and drink? He is pure and fresh. He will satisfy your dry and thirsty soul!
But to the blessed cross of Christ one day I came Where springs of living water did abound.
—JOHN W. PETERSON
At the end of each chapter I'll ask you to evaluate yourself on a spiritual and practical level. First, the practical questions: "Am I drinking eight glasses of water every day? How does my complexion look? (Did you know that water flushes toxins out of your body and gives you a more radiant, clear complexion?) Am I substituting anything in the place of water—fruit juices, carbonated sodas, coffee, or tea?"
Now for some spiritual questions: "Do I long for Jesus as I do for a glass of water on a hot summer day? On those days when I feel that everything is going my way, is it because I am constantly filling myself with the goodness of Jesus, my Living Water? Could it be that I have satisfied my thirst with the things of this world so that I no longer desire a drink from the well of living water?"
A Bright Idea for Healthy Eating ...
Invest in a large insulated water bottle. Each morning fill it up with cool water and keep it with you all day—in the car, at the office, everywhere you go. Sip on it all day to give your body what it's thirsting for!
Excerpted from The Bible's SEVEN SECRETS TO Healthy Eating by Joyce Rogers. Copyright © 2001 by Joyce Rogers. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.