Water: Where Life and Health Begins
Today we kick off our new blog category Health & Wellness with the topic of water. Get excited, because we’re going to discuss water both physically and spiritually — from a biblical and medical perspective. If you’re ready to get healthy, this is where it begins.
The Creation Account
Most of us are familiar with the creation account. And when we think of the first thing God created, we immediately think of light. It was the first thing He spoke into existence (Genesis 1:3). However, there was something already present. Before God created light, there was water…
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, (Genesis 1:1-2, KJV).
The word for “waters” in verse 2 is mah’yim. According to Strong’s this word very literally means “water”, but in a violent sense that would indicate floods and springs. This particular Hebrew word can even indicate waste waters (those which are not drinkable). From this definition, we can see that the waters upon which God hovered were without any boundaries. They were wild and deep, ebbing and flowing with violence that caused waste, and were therefore probably filled with the mire of the earth.
So we see a graphic picture displayed of violence and darkness within the void of earth, which God had created. As we continue within the creation account of Genesis chapter one, we see that God never creates the waters by speaking them forth, but rather he draws boundaries for them very carefully both upon land, and within the firmament (sky or heaven). Within this chapter we see God bringing an established order to all things which He creates within their distinguished purpose according to His eternal plan.
We are told the Spirit of God hovered upon the waters of the deep. Listen to the account as told by the Spirit of Wisdom (one of the seven spirits of God) as revealed in Proverbs:
When He prepared the heavens, I was there: when He set a compass upon the face of the depth: when He established the clouds above: when He strengthened the fountains of the deep: when He gave to the sea His decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when He appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him…, (Proverbs 8:27-30, KJV).
When thinking of water and creation, the flood account is something of which we must take special note. The account of the flood, when read in its entirety, clearly reveals the mah’yim spoken of in Genesis 1:2.
It should not surprise us that when God wanted to bring about a new beginning with Noah, that He again started with water. These destructive waters (the mah’yim), become His instrument of wiping the slate clean and starting all over again. The earth that was formless and void suddenly returns.
The flood account clearly reveals those waters returning to their original order as depicted in Genesis 1:2. All boundaries drawn by God for the mah’yim were crossed, and death ensued.
As we can see, these waters were present from the beginning of creation, and although God ironically used water as an instrument of destruction, it is the very foundation and sustenance of all life.
The Mystery and Glory of Water
Most of us take water for granted. We not only drink it, but we bathe in it, wash our clothes in it, and use it everyday for varying household tasks. Water is the most sustainable source on earth – bar none. However, when it’s endangered, we quickly realize just how precious it truly is. Without water there is no life. Life simply cannot be sustained without water.
In contrast to our need, most of the waters on earth are not drinkable (potable). The oceans and seas that cover the land have a salinity that sustains the specific lifeforms within them, yet are contrary to sustaining the life of man and animals upon dry land. The waters we look to for sustenance are fresh water sources such as rivers, streams, springs, aquifers and of course, fresh rain. Various groundwaters account for approximately 2.5 percent of the fresh water upon earth which sustains human life. Oceans and seas account for approximately 71 percent. That is a vast difference.
Water, in its purest form, which is known as H2O, is not only nearly impossible to find within nature (as most water sources contain various elements), but it is also one of the most wondrous. The water molecule is a polar molecule which is known as the universal solvent. In its purest form it is a colorless and odorless liquid with a nearly imperceptible blue hue that is only evident when light is present and when found in large quantities. The water molecule consists of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms — both of which are unstable serving as incredibly powerful and combustible explosives. Alone these create bombs and launch rockets, releasing energy in massive quantities. Yet when these unstable and combustible elements are combined in this manner, water becomes a stable and life-giving substance that supports every lifeform within creation.
Water can be found in three forms: liquid, solid and gas, which allows it to be stable in any atmosphere regardless of temperature. It will slip through your fingers, yet it is strong enough to hold up a ship and erode land masses. As we see in scripture, water requires boundaries, which God established carefully upon and within the earth, and within the heavens. Without these boundaries water has the potential to destroy and corrode, which is why the word mah’yim is the Hebrew word used in Genesis 1:2. Water is extraordinarily heavy by mass despite its clear and odorless properties. One liter of water by volume weighs approximately one kilogram by weight.
The human body is comprised of 65-75% water, depending on age, weight, sex, and other factors such as hydration.
Body Fluids & Fresh Water
When we think of body fluids, we naturally think of blood. Blood is our most critical body fluid. And although it is our greatest body fluid by volume, we have many other body fluids, both critical and transient. Critical body fluids are responsible for homeostasis. They are always sterile, being housed within very distinct and separate cavities, and they are maintained by proper hydration. Transient body fluids are a production of our metabolic function.
Critical Body Fluids
• Blood: The most critical body fluid which carries living cells, oxygen, and nourishment to every cell, tissue and organ within the body.
• Lymph: Lymph fluid is responsible for carrying toxins and cellular debris away from tissues and organs. Lymph glands of varying sizes are stationed throughout the body, namely within the neck, axilla, along the sternum, deep in the groin, and along the four extremities.
• Cerebral Spinal Fluid: A critical layer of protection providing buoyant support which houses the brain and spinal column.
• Interstitial Fluid: a clear water-like fluid between organ bodies and tissues which prevents organ friction, promotes ease of movement, and provides for optimal organ function.
• Synovial (Joint) Fluid: The fluid surrounding joint tissues (specifically bone and cartilage which is found in joints, tendons, ligaments and discs) which provides cushioning and shock absorption for ease of mobility.
• Bone Marrow: Where blood cells are created. A thick substance that is housed deep within the pelvic bones, vertebrae, and long bones of the body.
Transient Body Fluids
• Urine: Blood filtration waste produced by the kidneys.
• Semen: Nourishes and transports sperm.
• Amniotic fluid: Houses and supports the fetus within the amniotic sac during pregnancy.
• Breast Milk: A special nutrient-dense milk formulated for infants by the birth mother which contains all the macro and micro nutrients needed, as well as antibodies that supply the vulnerable newborn with immunity and defense against foreign invaders.
• Tears: Produced by varying ducts that line the eye providing moisture, being triggered by foreign bodies, dryness, or emotional upset.
• Sweat: Sweat glands excrete perspiration that carries toxins out of the body during times of stress, fever, emotional upset, or physical exertion. The composition of sweat is similar to urine.
• Mucous: Produced by mucous glands. Healthy mucous is a clear, yet thin gel-like liquid that keeps areas of the body moist which are contiguous with the external world, such as the trachea, sinuses, and vagina.
• Saliva: Produced by the salivary glands for digestion.
• Gastric secretions: Those of the stomach, pancreas, liver, small intestine, and large intestine (all differing in composition)
• Vaginal secretions: Those of the vagina which sustain a moist environment conducive to conception, and which protect against harmful microbial invaders.
Water is the base for all body fluid. Next we are going to talk about what happens when water enters the body.
Cellular Metabolism & Proper Hydration
Every function within the body is based upon cellular metabolism. Your body is made of trillions of cells, all of differing purpose and life spans. Cells are particular in their function, distinct in their purpose, and they communicate with one another via various hormones. They are microscopic complex structures, much like small cities, housing various organelles and doing tasks that very few of us understand or even appreciate. Yet when we consider their miraculous abilities, we stand in awe. The wonder with which God has made us is truly awesome.
CELL → TISSUE → ORGAN → ORGANISM
I think we all know what it’s like when opportunities for bathing or showering are not present. It doesn’t take long to notice how quickly we accumulate external dirt, body oils, and dead skin (cellular debris) that make us stink. Therefore, the motivation for bathing is strong. It’s one of our top priorities. We all long to be clean.
At this juncture, I want to draw an analogy for you, so you can quickly understand the necessity for water within your own diet. In our caffeinated culture of coffee, tea, pop, and a host of other artificial beverages and energy drinks, water has sadly taken a back seat. I want you to imagine for one moment what it would be like if you cleansed your external body the same way you cleansed your internal body.
I’ll give you some time to ponder this…
So case and point is this: We don’t shower in Coca-Cola, coffee, energy drinks, or tea. We bathe in water. And we don’t bathe weekly. We bathe daily (if we have the resources for good hygiene). What is necessary for your external hygiene, is even more necessary for your internal hygiene. So, let’s talk about internal bathing, which is otherwise known as hydration. Your internal body is in desperate need of cleansing every single day. Due to cellular turnover the need is all the greater and therefore the frequency should be all the more. You need to drink water (hydrate/internally bathe) not once a day, but many times a day.
Cellular Waste & Debris
Every day you have cellular turnover and regeneration that rivals that of your external body. Trillions of healthy cells create waste, and billions of cells are dying and multiplying. Every cell has a different life span. Some live a week; others live up to 30 days. When cells die the body must be rid of them, and the body has a miraculous way of breaking these down and deposing of their wastes very effectively with adequate hydration. But when water is not present in adequate amounts, cellular waste, debris and other environmental toxins can build up, clogging our lymph system and other tissues, creating soreness, fatigue and in severe cases even pain. When the body has no other way of ridding waste from critical organs, it will deposit them in the tissues via the lymph system. This internal packaging causes tenderness and pain.
Your internal organs work hard for you every moment of every day. They are truly miraculous structures within the human body which are responsible for a host of complicated tasks we cannot do for ourselves, even with the best medicine available. With this said, they are also some of the greatest sources of cellular debris. Their cellular turnover is very high, and they create a large amount of waste. Therefore, staying hydrated is the key to optimal organ function and overall health.
Everyday you are subject to foreign substances which place unnatural stress on your body. Depending upon the substance and portal of entry, your body has two primary ways of maintaining its health and optimal function in the presence of these foreign invaders: (1) It can break these chemicals structures down by the liver, thus rendering them neutral by returning them to their most base form, or (2) It can excrete them by way of the gastric system or kidneys, in which we experience nausea, diarrhea, or other varying symptoms until homeostasis is returned. If it can’t do either of these then we become prone to toxicity and subsequent organ dysfunction and disease.
Our portals of entry: (lungs, skin, mouth, rectum, and various mucous membranes) and the substances that enter them are responsible for many of the toxins to which we become adversely subjected. The air we breathe, the chemicals introduced through our intake by various foods and fluids, and the topical applications upon our skin, hair, and within our eyes and nose, all play a part in our overall health. Smoking, drinking, and prescription drug use are all adverse factors. If you live in an area that is known for pollution (air, water, etc.), then you need adequate hydration all the more.
The average person is dehydrated. Yet symptoms are seldom known, or often undiagnosed properly. Most individuals eat and drink poorly, consuming caffeinated beverages of many kinds, and eating nutritionally poor meals that are full of excess calories. They spend their days sitting behind a desk, breathing recycled air, away from fresh sunshine, drinking very little water, and eating fast food. Not to mention the long hours and sleep deprivation that accompany it. This sad picture has become the modern lifestyle. In short, these lives are malnourished and sedentary, which sets the stage for illness and disease.
Hydration is where cleansing begins. Blood is responsible for carrying nutrients to the cell. Lymph is responsible for carrying waste away from it. Blood and lymph both have very similar circulation systems. Yet these fluids flow throughout the body very differently. Blood is pumped by the heart. In contrast, the circulation of lymph is entirely dependent upon the contraction of skeletal muscle. When lymph is stagnant it cannot expel toxins and debris appropriately, and they are deposited into the surrounding tissues creating fatigue, soreness, tenderness, and even chronic pain. Sedentary individuals often suffer elusive symptoms of toxic buildup in their systems. The body was made for movement, and its health is reliant upon it. The only way to rid the body of these toxins and debris is through hydration and exercise — which moves blood via the heart, and lymph via the musculoskeletal system. The benefits of hydration are driven by exercise.
The most common formula for adequate hydration is one ounce of water per body weight in pounds. For example, if you weigh 120 lbs, you would need 120 ounces of water. One cup is 8 ounces (240 mL). That volume equates to approximately one gallon, which is 128 ounces (~ 4 Liters).
YOUR HYDRATION RATIO
1 OZ WATER (30 mL) : 1 POUND
The best way to keep your water on hand is through a personal jug or bottle that measures your intake. Ration your water throughout the day. I’ve found containers that measure in liters to be best. Most standard drinking bottles are measured in half-liters (500 mL) or liters (1000 mL). Be mindful that drinking too much all at once is counterproductive to good health. It can bloat you and make you sick. Your body cannot absorb that much all at once, and as a result your body will simply excrete or vomit it. Water intake should be gradual, allowing for proper circulation within all body systems. Your thirst, more than anything else, is the best indicator for your personal water intake. Please note that water intake is separate from other fluid intake such as ice cream, jello, coffee, and soups.
Staying hydrated is critical for cellular metabolism. Healthy cell function begins with water, which in turn translates into optimal tissue and organ function as well. When you are properly hydrated your body will stay moist, your body will be cleansed of cellular waste, debris, and environmental toxins, and you’ll have more energy. You’ll be a well-oiled machine. You may even notice that certain aches and pains disappear.
On the flip-side, it’s important to know that it is possible to ingest too much water, creating imbalance. When you become over-hydrated, whereby your blood is “diluted”, critical electrolyte balance can be lost, creating unstable cellular function, by which a host of symptoms can erupt. Again, your personal thirst is your most reliable indicator for water intake. How you respond to that thirst is key. Instead of reaching for alternative beverages to quench your thirst, grab a bottle of water instead.
DISCLAIMER: Please consult your physician prior to implementing any hydration regimen. Individuals with chronic renal, cardiac, and other metabolic diseases are notable exceptions.
I think it is very interesting that just as water is fundamentally essential for optimal physical health, so it is for spiritual health. Throughout the Holy Bible we find many scriptures related to water in direct reference to the Spirit of God:
Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life, (John 4:13-14, KJV).
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.), (John 7:38-39, KJV).
And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely, (Revelation 21:6, KJV).
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely, (Revelation 22:17, KJV).
Throughout the Word of God we see examples of spiritual dryness. Those most notable are spoken by King David and Jeremiah the Prophet:
A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is…, (Psalm 63:1, KJV).
O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters, (Jeremiah 17:13, KJV).
There is no question, therefore, that water is the foundation of spiritual health and life, which can only be found in Christ through His Spirit, which He freely gives to all who ask. I love that invitation. What is even more is that He promises to quench our spiritual thirst. With that said, I find it amusing that God placed Israel in a physically dry land surrounded by desert. His people are wholly reliant upon Him for water, both in body and spirit. Yet He promised to make them a fruitful land — a land flowing with milk and honey.
Very much like our physical bodies, everyday we accumulate spiritual debris and toxins through circumstances and people we encounter; internal thoughts and emotions; and outward behaviors that are contrary to God’s word or will. The spiritual atmosphere in which we live is seldom clean. When we remain spiritually hydrated “spiritual toxins” are cleansed from us. Sin, spiritual residue and debris, demonic influences and activities, spiritual strongholds, and other spiritual junk is washed away. Christ cleanses us by His Spirit from all those things that would bring spiritual sickness, dryness, and disease.
We need to stay spiritually hydrated in Christ all day, every day. The promise for those who stay spiritually hydrated is this:
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit, (Jeremiah 17:8, KJV).
And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not, (Isaiah 58:10-11, KJV).
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth froth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper, (Psalm 1:1-3, KJV).
Are you spiritually dry or thirsty? Are you spiritually sick? You can enjoy vibrant spiritual health when you drink from the Fountain of Living Waters. He is faithful to cleanse, heal, nourish, and sustain you. He will quench your spiritual thirst unlike anything you’ve ever known or experienced. He is able to deliver you from every spiritual stronghold and toxicity that is poisoning your life.
Our Most Precious Life-Giving Source
It all began with water (see Genesis 1:2). Never take your water for granted. It is precious.
God is our source for life-sustaining water in the form of fresh springs and rain, and in Christ who quenches our spiritual thirst by His beautiful Spirit. We are entirely reliant upon Him to give us this precious commodity that gives life to all things. Water is everywhere within the earth, yet very little is drinkable. I don’t think that’s an accident. God intended that we trust Him for our water. He is our source from the first day of creation until now. That sustenance has not changed, and His boundaries are clear.
None of us can have life — either physically or spiritually — without water. Choose your physical water carefully. As for your spiritual water — there is only source, and He invites you to partake today and be filled with everlasting life.
Drink more. Be cleansed. Stay hydrated for optimal physical and spiritual health.
Cheers & Shalom,
Image Credit: urformat | Pixabay