How to Beat the Heat – For More Reasons than One

beat the heat

beat the heat

The peril of heat.

The summer I spent as a camp nurse I learned a few things about dehydration. We set some rules for our campers, and we beat the heat. I’ve had to do the same with my kids and sometimes my hubby. Heat is vital to life. It can also be detrimental and damaging if not treated with respect. That’s why it’s important to combat its effects with hydration, protection, and rest. 


When I implemented a new “rule” at each mealtime, the visits to my infirmary from dehydration stopped. The rule? Everybody had to drink one entire glass of water before they could eat one bite of food. At every meal. Three times a day.

You should have seen the faces of the campers and counselors when I made that announcement. Their looks let me know what they thought of my plan, but I didn’t care. I was responsible for the health of these kiddos, and we had to do something. I had kids coming to the infirmary throwing up and running a fever, all because they were dehydrated.

We can get dehydrated spiritually. When we don’t take time to get proper nourishment and hydration, we become depleted. Amazing how many ER visits could be thwarted if people only had enough hydration.

When you give and give and give, you become depleted. You need to refill as quickly as you become empty. There’s a lesson in this for us. It is so easy to become busy with responsibilities and activities that we forget to stay hydrated. 

For the child of God, it is important to stay hydrated and nourished spiritually. When we give and give, we become depleted. It’s important that we go to the Water of Life to get sustenance for each day – and sometimes for each moment.

One of the best ways to beat the heat is to stay hydrated. It’s being proactive – and it is well worth the effort.


When we know we’re going to be out in the heat of the day, there are ways to protect ourselves. A hat for shade; sunglasses to prevent straining and squinting, and sunscreen for protection from burns. Doing these things help us face the heat. They help us endure and make it through the day.

In the spiritual and emotional realm, sometimes there are places we ought not go in order to protect ourselves. Sometimes we need extra cover – whether it’s the protection of someone with us or the support of someone near by as we face an obstacle. When you know you’re going to face heat,  being prepared is one of the best ways to beat that heat.

Have you considered putting on your armor of protection? Have you thought about the shade necessary and found a way to rest in that shade throughout periods of your frantic day?


Each of us responds differently to extensive activity and stress. Yet all of us need times of rest. This involves not only physical rest, but mental and emotional rest. We do this by doing something different – by taking a different path. Rest brings relief to our minds as well as our hearts. It also provides an avenue for our bodies to replenish. Children, especially, need rest. Rest helps their bodies grow healthily and allows for emotional wellness. Studies show that children who have a regular rest or sleeping schedule do better in school than those who don’t. It’s the same for adults. Pushing ourselves just because we can is not a healthy way to live. Get rest – both physical, mental, and emotional. It will help you face the heat of the day.

Jesus utilized all of these with His disciples. He called them to come apart and rest. He sent them away from the crowd to Bethsaida, on the other side of Lake Gennesaret (also the Sea of Galilee). They had given and given, and experienced deep grief. Jesus knew they needed to take care of themselves.

Getting Ahead = Beating the Devil at his game

When we know temperatures will be sweltering, it’s time to prepare. Whether it’s physical or spiritual, there’s a game plan.  Stay hydrated. Be protected. Keep rested. It will work, every time. Guaranteed.

beat the heat



A Boy’s Gift of Water




A rationed bottle of water for a friend.

It has been five years, and she still talks about Rico – the boy who offered his rationed bottled water to her. It was her first time in an international setting with agriculture, a lifestyle that transcends every language, culture, and country. The Virginia Tech team of which she was a part was working on soil fertility and crop production methods with some of the local farmers.

In the rural area of Guanacaste, (the western side of Costa Rica), tap water is unsafe to drink because of bacterial and sanitation issues. In many third world countries, it is strongly recommended that people drink bottled water because of those issues. Bottled water can be scarce and costly for poor people who live in very rural areas. This is not only because of the price, but also the distance to local stores. Many times the most vulnerable people still resort to using tap water. If there is bottled water, it is often rationed. Family members each have a certain allotment for their personal drinking per month.


The girl from America

She was nineteen, and he was nine. For an American girl, it was quite the change – several weeks of living in the hot, humid climate, sleeping on a pallet on a dirt floor, and never feeling completely full after a meal. A little over a 100 pounds, it didn’t seem that she needed much food and water to sustain herself. There came a moment when she wasn’t as strong as she thought she was. One day while out in the field, she collapsed. Dehydration.

The boy in Costa Rico

Rico was the first to notice her and ran to his mother. He begged for one of his rationed bottles of water for Miss Rebekah.

One of the houses in the villages where team members slept.

He asked to accompany the nurse to the clinic where they checked Rebekah and gave her an IV to replenish her system. Rico sat beside the white American Mennonite girl, holding her hand while the IV was infused.

Sometimes the poor are the most giving. They know what it’s like to have little or nothing and are more willing to share instead of hoarding. Just like Rico.


Different and Alike

Rico is the son of a Costa Rican farmer who works the soil during hot days to mete out a living for his family. Rebekah is the daughter of an American Mennonite construction worker who works in and under houses in hot and cold weather to provide for his family. They met in the fields of Rico’s father, where she spent two weeks.

Rebekah with one of the farmers in Rico’s village.

That day, sitting in the clinic with his friend, Rico’s eyes beamed with pleasure at being able to stay with her, providing what he could for his friend Miss Rebekah. His heart was happy because he was willing to give in a way that was true giving; for true giving involves sacrifice.



The Truest Gift of All

He didn’t have much, but he offered the best that he had: his bottle of rationed water. He knew it was what she needed, and it was something he could give.

a Costa Rican farmer

According to our standards, Rico is poor. He lives and works in poverty. Yet his joy in being able to give was evident – a true proof that, despite what others might think, Rico is very, very rich.

I am Rebekah’s mother and I am grateful for the young lad who noticed that my daughter needed help. I am grateful for his friendship and for his willingness to sacrifice. I’ve never met Rico, but if I do, I will want to thank him.

Not only will I want to express appreciation,  I’ll want to give him honor and blessing for giving from his heart. That is truly the richest form of giving.