Jul
11

Thirst! by Randy Rowley 7/11/14 ©

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My son, Ryan, had a football game on the third Friday night in September, so my father-in-law, the late Ken Brigman, Ryan, and I missed the first day of the FCS south zone dove hunt on the Kanapick day lease near Dilley, about 60 miles south of the San Antonio city limits.

We arrived on Saturday around noon and were surprised to see several dove flying around, especially near the stock tanks (ponds).  We were also amazed at how hot it was – it felt like it was already above 100 degrees.

We set up camp and chilled in the shade until the afternoon hunt.  The ranch owner had a covered storage area with a concrete slab but no walls.  We sat under it to stay out of the blistering sun.

We headed to a large sunflower field around mid-afternoon.  Although there were 25 of us, there was plenty of room to spread out.  The birds started flying and falling in short order.  There were no white-wings, but the sky was black with mourning dove.  Most of us enjoyed seeing the most dove we’d seen on a hunt and got 15-dove limits within a couple of hours.

We headed to a large sunflower field around mid-afternoon.  Although there were 25 of us, there was plenty of room to spread out.  The birds started flying and falling in short order.  There were no white-wings, but the sky was black with mourning dove.  Most of us enjoyed seeing the most dove we’d seen on a hunt and got 15-dove limits within a couple of hours.

After bagging a dozen dove I stopped hunting and headed to my truck.  No, I wasn’t out of shotgun shells – I was thirsty.  Make that very thirsty.  In addition to being thirsty, I was weak and light-headed.  I had long before drank the water I’d brought with me, and now all I could think about was quenching my thirst.

Upon arriving at my truck, I got a half-gallon jug of ice water, found some shade, poured half of the water over my head, and drank the rest.  But still, my thirst wasn’t quenched!  A hunter who was passing by gave me a couple of Gatorades, and after drinking those I finally started feeling closer to normal.  But I was still weak and had no desire to finish my limit.  For the first time in my life, I’d experienced dehydration.

Dehydration occurs when people’s bodies use or lose more fluid than they take in, and their bodies don’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out their normal functions.  Dehydration can be very dangerous.  In advanced cases, the victim can become dizzy, disoriented, confused, and have decreased urine output with dark urine.  He can have a racing heart, be faint, and not be able to sweat.  Dehydration can lead to death.

At sunset, we went back to camp.  We then cleaned the birds, cooked dinner, ate, and went to bed.  But even with a fan blowing straight on me, I couldn’t cool down, nor could I sleep.  And neither could Ken.  At 3:00 AM I did something I’ve never done before or since – I left an FCS weekend dove hunt early.  We packed up and headed home to Austin.

A short time after that hunt, I went to see my doctor.  A blood test revealed I had type 2 diabetes.  Diabetes is a long-lasting health condition that affects how people’s bodies turn food into energy.  The bodies of people with diabetes either don’t make enough insulin or can’t use it well.  Excessive thirst is one of the first signs a person might have diabetes.  Thirst and frequent urination are caused by too much glucose (sugar) in the blood.

I’m convinced that if I hadn’t experienced dehydration I wouldn’t have gotten checked and thus wouldn’t have been started on medication to treat diabetes.  This was another case where God caused everything to work together for my good.  Romans 8:28 NLT says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

The author of the 42nd Psalm must have observed wild animals that were very thirsty.  He wrote in Psalm 42:1, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.”  The Psalmist captured how God longs for us to desire him!  He wants us to be to the point of spiritual dehydration – to need him so tremendously that if we don’t quench our thirst for him, we’ll become sick.  He wants us to have the attitude that we’ll perish spiritually if we cannot have him.

Early in his ministry, Jesus encountered a sinful woman at Jacob’s well in Samaria and asked her for a drink of water.  John 4:9-15 says, “The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman.  How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews didn’t associate with Samaritans.)  Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”  “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep.  Where can you get this living water?  Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”  Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.’”

Do you desire Jesus above all other people and things?  Do you feel a pang of thirst in your soul that only Jesus can quench?  He wants us to run to him like a deer to a stream or a dehydrated hunter to a jug of ice water.  He wants us to gulp him in and never thirst again.

Some of the dove

Categories : Devotionals

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