You all, we need rain. Badly. You can see the results of the lack of rain on most people’s lawns around here… especially mine. It’s not pretty, you guys. April has now passed and there was sadly no such thing as “April showers” this year. Occasionally, we get a tiny little shower. But most of the time, the rain they supposedly predict on weather forecasts never seems to come. Meanwhile, I have friends in other parts of the country telling me it’s been raining every day where they live, and they are so over it. I jokingly asked – or possibly even slightly begged – one of these friends the other day, if she could somehow send some our way. If only it were that easy…
But on a serious note, isn’t it the same way in our spiritual walks quite often? One person appears to be feasting while someone else feels like they are fasting. It’s like walking through a spiritual desert, longing for some word from God, the source of Living Water, to quench our parched souls. Another person is just bubbling over with all the Lord has been teaching her lately, while another opens her Bible for what feels like months on end of seemingly no real dynamic connection with Him.
There seems to be this commonly held belief that every day walking with God should leave us feeling so close to Him, that all we are constantly learning from Him just joyfully spills over onto everyone around us. But boy, is that not the case at times, at least for me. Dry times seem to come more often than those times of spiritual refreshing and renewal. So how do we endure those dry times well when we are undoubtedly faced with them? I’ve been learning a few things through my own dry times lately that I hope I can encourage you with today.
1. Dry times come to all of us. And don’t let anyone make you think otherwise. No matter how much it seems like someone has got it all together, has a way more dynamic relationship with Christ than you do, or has so many exciting things going for her that you can’t imagine her life being anything but perfect – don’t let what you see on the outside fool you. Everyone goes through loneliness, questioning, and times when God seems absent… even those people who never share about them.
2. Dry times are different from dream pauses. Sometimes, because dreams of mine for the future are on hold for the present, it’s easy to think that God isn’t really speaking to me right now. Instead, I must remember that what He has to show me today may be right in front of me in the everyday mundane and smaller picture, instead of just looking at the bigger picture and saying He’s being silent.
3. Dry times are better endured together. I know for me personally, the need is great, particularly during those harder seasons in life, to have friends nearby who can remind you of Truth when you most need to hear it – even when you don’t want to hear it. We all experience seasons that are unique to us, and since we all won’t be in a dry season at the same time, those of us who aren’t walking through deserts can be great encouragers for those who feel like they are.
4. Usually the only way out is through. Life is just plain hard sometimes, and often God does seem far away. We send up repeated prayers and feel like they may never be answered. We read our Bibles and don’t take away half of what we wish we did. Yet, God’s promised that His Word never returns void (Isaiah 55:11), and that He will reward those who remain faithful to Him (Hebrews 11:6). Keep pressing in and stay faithful, trusting He is working something good even when you have no idea what He’s up to and don’t understand His plan.
5. You never know when the rain might fall. Just like I’ve learned from watching the local weather forecasts, no one can really predict the future when it comes to rain. Even the supposed “experts.” Keep a positive attitude, remembering that He loves you and is with you even when you don’t sense His presence. One day, perhaps when you least expect it, you’ll have some amazing and life changing moment with your Heavenly Father. And like the beautiful rainbow that comes after an intense storm, the dry dark time in your life will result in an even more amplified and stunning encounter with the One who truly does know you best.
Hang in there, friend. The rain is coming. I’m believing it for both of us today.