Apparently I live on the surface of the sun.
Ok, perhaps that’s a bit of an overstatement, but it certainly feels that way. For those of you who live around me in Wichita Falls, TX, you feel my pain. It’s just too stinking hot. Last year we had over 100 days reach at least 100 degrees – 52 of those in a row!
This consequences of drought are harsh and very real.
Our farmers suffer. The ground here gets so dry that it cracks and shifts. So much so that we had to repair the foundation of our home due to the damage to our soil.
Yet in our area of the country, we’ve come to accept it as part of our existence. We just try to survive the summer dry spell. Because even if we encounter loss, the rains do eventually come.
I experience a dry spell this time every year, and it has nothing to do with the temperature. For me, August always brings a spiritual dry spell.
The end of a summer in youth ministry can be brutal. I pour so much into our summer experiences that I have little left to give at the end. My times of reading and prayer over the last months have been few. My times of pouring into others have been many.
My spirit feels cracked and dry.
Frank Viola describes these dry spells of the soul well in a recent blog post:
The dry spell is the spiritual drought. During this season, the Christian’s throat becomes parched, and his/her eyes are filled with sand.
One’s spiritual life is dull and lifeless. You feel as if you’re going to the motions. There’s a dearth of joy, excitement, and fervor. Songs that once moved you to tears no longer touch your heart. When you open up the Bible, the pages are blank. Prayer is a study in boredom.
As Christians, we fear these spiritual droughts. We long to follow Christ and feel the presence of the Spirit at all times. And when we the dry season comes we feel like we have failed.
But can these dry spell actually bring blessing into our lives? Viola thinks so:
Do you know what God is doing during a dry spell? He’s searching us out. He’s asking the acute question “Do you want Me only during the good times, or do you want Me in the dry times also?”
A church will grow numerically in a wet spell, but it will lose people during a dry spell. Yet the greatest spiritual growth often takes place during the dry spell. But that growth is imperceptible.
The dry spell is the season when the deeper lessons of the Christian life are learned. A church needs dry spells. And so does every believer. They are part of the Christian life.
Perhaps these dry seasons are an important part of following Christ. We will not always be on a spiritual high. Our spirits move and flow in seasons like the earth. There will be times when blessings seems to flow like a river and times when we feel dry and parched.
The blessing comes from not fearing the damage of the drought, but seeking God through it until the rain comes. Because eventually the rain comes.
So the next time your well is dry, may you dig deeper. May you keep seeking God even when he seems far away. Because you have not failed.
And the rainy season is coming.