I opened my Bible for the 3rd day (almost in a row) and read these words:
“In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.”
–1 Samuel 3:1b
You guys, I almost broke down right then and there. This was what I had been feeling for months. The word of the Lord was rare—the presence of the Lord was like non existent. It’s been a rough several months in our little corner of the world, and my devotional time has well, been replaced by survival time—take a shower, pack a box, unpack a box, search the internet…you know…everything else other than read the Bible, or talk to God.
It’s probably what a lot of people would call a spiritual drought. A time in one’s life when you don’t feel connected to God any longer. For me…throw in a little anger at God, some disappointment, some bitterness and sure call it a drought.
Honestly I didn’t even realize the water was drying up until the soil was hard and cracked. I hardly noticed the absence until well, it was almost too late. So when I read those words from 1 Samuel, I had to sit and wonder how it all happened. How I got here—dried up, bitter, angry, and sad.
My kids have been so cranky lately. It’s like school ended and they lost all ability to be kind to one another and get their shoes on in a timely manner. I was taking note of this for like the 200th time since Memorial Day and it hit me! They have lost all routine. During the school year, we had a routine, and they followed it—they were champs. Now, it is summer, and every thing is just willy nilly—they have no routine, and it is making them crazy.
And that’s when I knew when the drought began to set in. When I lost my routine. When I stopped being intentional about meeting with Jesus on a regular basis. Seriously I have never been a pro at this, never been great at sitting down at xyz time, 365 days a year…but I had my own sense of routine. It was just something I would do, when I had a minute—whether in the morning, mid afternoon, when the kids were watching a show. It just happened—Once I stopped being intentional about spending time with Jesus…well the bitterness, anger and sadness swept right in and took their spot where thankfulness, grace and compassion once stood.
When we have no routine in our spiritual life, our life begins to look a lot like an unsteady, out of control toddler.
Yeah, it is ugly. But I know it doesn’t have to always be ugly. The rest of 1 Samuel 3 depicts the call of Samuel—it takes a little while, but Samuel finally hears from the Lord and the drought ends—and something new begins.
If you are finding yourself in a spiritual drought of your own, know that you are not alone. But also know, that we worship a God who does not desire to be silent in our lives—He desires relationship with us, He desires to speak into our lives transforming us, guiding us, challenging us and comforting us.
Here’s what I have been listening to, to guide me into a renewed relationship with Jesus: New Wine by Hillsong
What has helped you in periods of spiritual drought?