How do you handle a spiritually dry season?
I think there are so many of us who still don’t know what to do when it happens. We know we’re going through it and yet we still feel very much alone.
A dry season can be incredibly difficult in any believer’s life. I remember when I was first saved feeling a rush and in-filling of love. For someone who had been so desperate to be loved, the beginning of my relationship with Christ satisfied and healed that need. But after a while as I grew in knowledge and maturity, it felt like my relationship with Him became more difficult. Instead of my relationship with Him being a delight, it was more of a to-do list.Valleys and dry seasons are as much apart of our Christian life as the mountain top experiences of victory and joy.Click To Tweet
So what is a dry season and why does God allow it?
Sin vs. Testing
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
In a previous post, I wrote about testing vs. temptation. God will never tempt us to turn away from Him.
God may use a dry season (a time when you don’t feel His presence or hear His voice) to test you. There were many who went through times of testing in the Bible such as David, Elijah, and Jesus to name a few. Each of them went through their times of testing and came out the other side of it still holding on to God. Let’s explore how we can remain faithful while we’re feeling lost.
How Do We Stay With God During A Dry Season?
- Remembering God’s Character. When we go through a dry season, we may blame God for feeling so far away. How could God desire that? God’s love for us isn’t fickle. He doesn’t love us one minute and disregard us the next. He lavishes His love and remains faithful even when we’re not. If you’ve felt like He’s been far away on purpose, read the words of Psalm 43,
Why do you cast me off? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle. Then I will go to the altar of God. To God my exceeding joy; And on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God. (v 2-4)
It may feel like God is turning you away, but dry seasons have a way of showing you what is really important. David knew the only way of clinging to God was remaining close to God.
- Keeping Committed. Have you known anyone who was in love with love? It seems like in every love story, starting with Disney, we see the headiness of falling in love but not what it means to stay committed. Those princesses went back to the castle and stayed frozen in the wedding days. They never got to experience the hard times marriages go through. While falling in love feels magical, it’s when we’re committed that we experience the height, depth, and breadth of God’s steadfast love. We see that when our hearts turn away, His never will. When we run into the arms of another, He comes running with His arms wide open to us. When we remember His character and all the times He brought us through difficult circumstances, that we can stay committed to Him during the dry season.
- Standing In Our Identity. Being a daughter of God is one of the greatest gifts we have as Christians. When we’re in a dry season and we feel stuck or frustrated, we can stand in our identity as His beloved. Before Jesus performed any miracles, He was baptized in the Jordan River. Do you remember the words God spoke when Jesus emerged from the water? “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” I strive to give myself value based on what I do rather than who I am. Jesus never did that. Knowing that He was God’s Son and deeply loved, He obediently followed whatever His Father told Him to do the world has never been the same because of it.
- Meditating On His Word. We can know who we are only by what He has said. This is why having the Bible is a priceless treasure. The enemy wants to steal our identity of beloved and the news lately has been a perfect reflection of that. In these troubled times, we need to keep our hearts soft to His words. I know this is a battle many of us go through. Ever feel lost on where to start or even how to study the Bible? Me too and in the upcoming weeks, I plan to share more on that.
- Setting Aside Our Feelings. I used to think that I wasn’t ruled by my feelings and valued logic. While the logic part is true, I’ve come to see just how my feelings govern my thoughts and decisions. It happens when I think about going to the gym (insert social anxiety) or when I feel hopeless about ever falling in love. In the dry season, we need to be extra careful not to give our feelings free reign. Even in the midst of feeling low, we can still encourage our hearts just as David did at the end of Psalm 43.
Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God. (v5)
You have the power to gain control of how you’re feeling even you’re going through a dry season. Praising God is one of the best ways to rise above any depression or despair. We are spiritual beings before we are physical ones and our souls crave to worship our Creator.
We can’t expect to go through this life without experiencing hard times but we do have a promise we can hold on to:
I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)
He is with us through the valleys and He’s with us on the mountaintops. He’s with us when we’re feeling alone and with us when we’re surrounded by others.
If you’re going through a dry season, you’re never alone.
I’d love to know – If you’ve gone through a dry season, how did you feel while you were in it? What lessons did you learn that you could share with others?